Recipe: Pasta with Bacon & Leeks {Food Network}

by Cate on March 27, 2014

A quick pasta dinner where bacon shines … kid-friendly, adult-approved, and perfect for company.

I’ve got to say, I might have salivated a little when I saw the most recent issue of Food Network magazine.

I mean.

Really.

bacon issue

Bacon.

It’s like they’re IN MY HEAD.

When it arrived, we were in the midst of planning a dinner with friends. Chrissie saw the cover recipe and said, “Make that, I’m coming.”

Loosely quoted.

And then there was a plan.

You know the whole spiel that you shouldn’t try out new recipes on company, right?

I threw caution to the wind.

Spit in the face of failure.

And delivered a delicious meal in the process.

Pasta with Bacon and Leeks-001

Would you believe I’ve never had leeks?

True story.

This was my first time, and they couldn’t have been easier to prepare and blended so nicely with the heavy cream.

Seriously, though, is heavy cream ever not gonna work?

Especially when you pair it with the likes of bacon.

The crispier the better.

The recipe said 15 minutes, and it was spot on. Which meant it was perfect for entertaining. We chatted in the kitchen while I made it and put the finishing touches on the rest of our meal. It wasn’t a high-maintenance dish, which means it didn’t go south when we started talking about boys, ex-husbands, school bullies, and tattoo adventures.

Which is pretty much my favorite kind of recipe. Who needs high maintenance?

The only thing I changed was to add more bacon. Because. Well, bacon. And also because, as we rationalized, as a recipe from the BACON issue, and a dish that had BACON in its name, four slices just weren’t gonna cut it.

So I think I added seven.

It might have needed even more.

And our starter? These bacon-wrapped jalapenos. And, um, the entire plate of everything was gone by the end of the night.

Pretty much my favorite way to end a dinner with friends.

Make it!

Hungry for more bacon recipes?
These Flourless Peanut Butter & Bacon Cookies are so light and so good!
Our dogs go crazy for these homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon treats and I bet yours will too.
This Hot Bacon and Cheese Dip is pretty much my favorite.
Bacon Cracker Appetizers … addicting!

Pasta with Bacon and Leeks
Recipe courtesy of Food Network magazine

Ingredients

Kosher salt
12 ounces mezzi rigatoni (or other short pasta)
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used 7 slices)
1 bunch leeks (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced and rinsed well
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
Chopped fresh parsley, for topping

Directions

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.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet.

Add the leeks to the drippings in the skillet. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with the parmesan, half of the bacon and 1/2 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 28, 2014 at 6:29 am

I kind of love that your theme was bacon! Definitely a total crowd pleaser.
Joanne recently posted..Yellow Birthday Cake with Fluffy Chocolate Ganache Frosting

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DessertForTwo March 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

I need a big bowl of this pasta + that magazine, stat!

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julia March 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

I love this pasta! Leeks are one of my favorites to cook with!
julia recently posted..Italian Meatball Tomato Soup {Guest Post by Not Enough Cinnamon}

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Lauren @ Healthy Delish March 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Leeks are amazing! I’m glad you finally got around to trying them. And with bacon, too… how can you go wrong?!
Lauren @ Healthy Delish recently posted..Sweet Potato and Sausage Quesadillas

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Christie March 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I still have this issue! It does look so yummy. Love that you added more bacon. Is there ever enough?
Christie recently posted..Coconut Chocolate Cherry Truffles

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