Last month, I received the Bacon Issue of The Food Network Magazine. I try to eat healthy, but there are just some things that you can’t get away from. Bacon is one of them. This Pasta with Bacon and Leeks recipe is easy and quick, and something that the whole family will love.
First, I cook the bacon using the easiest method I know. I use about half the strips for this recipe and reserve the rest for BLT sandwiches for lunch!
Leeks are just gorgeous and my husband and I eat them. My girls, however, aren’t too big with big green things in their pasta, so I made a sauce without the leeks.
Freshly grated parmesan cheese is the only way to go. It makes your pasta dishes come alive. I always keep a fresh slab of parmesan cheese in the refrigerator. You can always put grate some and put it on top of roasted asparagus or use the rind to give soups a meaty flavor.
This is the part where it all comes together: when you cook the bacon drippings, leeks and milk.
Then you add the cooked pasta, bacon and cheese and you’ve got a meal that the whole family will devour!
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces mezzi rigatoni (or other short pasta)
- 4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ bunch leeks (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced and rinsed well
- Freshly ground pepper
- ¾ cup milk (the original recipe calls for cream, but I wanted to cut down on the fat)
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta.
- Cook the bacon by putting the strips on a baking sheet in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10-14 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; Take 1-2 tablespoons of drippings and put it into a skillet.
- Add the leeks to the drippings in the skillet. Season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the milk and cook until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the skillet plus the parmesan, half of the bacon and ½ teaspoon pepper; toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen. To serve, top with the remaining bacon, more parmesan and parsley.
Click here for the original Pasta with Bacon and Leek recipe on Food Network recipe.