Bacon and Leek Pasta Bake
This is a recipe for bacon and leek pasta bake, which is another one of my wife’s favourites. I make this for her when she needs cheering up – it never fails!!
Again it is another one of those great meals you can prepare upfront and pop in the oven when you need to cook it. A great recipe for dinner parties and the bacon/leek combination with cheese always pleases.
The breadcrumbs on the top give a delicious crispy topping in the oven.
The preparation time is quick and a little dependent on how many pans you like to have on the go at any one time.
I like to re-use a single frying pan, so it takes me a bit longer than it needs to, but you can prepare it quicker if you have the pans and do not mind the extra washing up!
Alternatively, if you have an air-fryer, which I did not have when I first wrote this recipe, you can pre-cook the bacon in there instead of frying it. This makes the recipe even easier to make!
Leeks and the Welsh
The Welsh people have a number of national emblems. The leek is one of them. As I drove East to West through Wales this week in the pouring rain I wondered whether it shouldn’t be ‘leak’ rather than ‘leek’! It was throwing it down!!
This link about the Leek will tell you a bit more about that if you are interested. The daffodil, the dragon and Prince of Wales Ostrich feathers are also well-known national Welsh symbols.
All of which you will see if you go and watch Wales play rugby live.
We think the leek goes better in this dish than the daffodil!
The benefits of Leeks
Leeks, a member of the Allium family, are a vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. From soups to salads, they add a distinct flavour to any meal. But besides their taste, there are several advantages to eating leeks.
Firstly, leeks are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in vitamins A and C, which can help to boost the immune system and protect against illness. They also contain a good amount of potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Additionally, leeks are low in calories and high in fibre, making them a great food for weight loss or maintenance. The fibre in leeks can also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can prevent overeating.
Another advantage of eating leeks is that they contain a unique compound called kaempferol, which has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Lastly, leeks are versatile and easy to prepare. They can be boiled, roasted, sautéed, or even eaten raw in salads. Their mild flavour makes them a great addition to a variety of dishes, from omelettes to casseroles.
In conclusion, incorporating leeks into your diet can provide numerous health benefits while adding flavour and variety to your meals.
Which Pasta to use?
I normally use penne for this recipe, but find that fusilli also works well. But really you can use all types of pasta.
Recently I had some Five Colours Conchiglie pasta leftover which I used up with this recipe. I used a lot of leeks and made plenty of cheese sauce and it turned out to be superb! It certainly had a lot more colour than using just penne.
Here are a few pictures:
Bacon and leek pasta bake
This creamy leek and bacon pasta bake is simple to make and uses an Alfredo type cheesy sauce, which coats the pasta beautifully.
The breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese on the top give it a lovely crispy chewy surface. The cheese sauce for the pasta really goes very well with the combination.
It is a bit like a baked mac and cheese with bacon and leeks added.
Make sure that you use the right size dish for the amount of ingredients, so that you have enough of the creamy cheese sauce to cover the pasta/leeks/bacon.
The recipe amount below fills a 3-litre dish (approx. 100 fl. oz US) and will feed about 6-8 people (depending on how much you like to eat!)
Using leftover ham
This recipe is another good recipe for using up any leftover ham, if you have any, after Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Just replace the bacon in the recipe with ham. Or add both! I like to fry the ham in the pan a bit before adding it to the dish. The result looks pretty much the same as a penne version and tastes great. Here I used some macaroni pasta.
This recipe is also a great meal prep recipe. You can make more than you need and keep the single portions in the fridge for a few days until you want to eat them.
Here I made a few days’ food with some separate portions for my daughter who is unfortunately fussy about leeks.
I hope you enjoy making this recipe. It is one of our favourites. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!
How to make this cheesy pasta bake recipe
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may like to try these :