Cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake
5 minutes
45 minutes
  • 400 g pasta
  • 3 medium leeksrinsed then cut into 1inch slices
  • 4 rashers smokey streaky baconrind removed and cut into lardons
  • 2 cloves garliccrushed
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Knob butter
  • 1 Spoonful English mustard
  • 125 g Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Handful breadcrumbs(optional)
  • 50 g parmesan

1. Render the lardons on bacon down quite slowly until crispy. This takes about 15 minutes. 2. Then soften the sliced leeks in the bacon fat, add the garlic after 5 minutes. You want to get them nice and soft, so that the inner rings pop out easily. It'll take about 15 more minutes. Add a knob of butter to help the leeks soften. (You could fry off the bacon and leeks at the same time in separate pans, saving time but not washing up.) 3. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water until al dente. Drain but retain a mugful of pasta water! 4. Make the sauce in the microwave. Put the flour, butter and milk in a large microwaveable jug or bowl. Set on high for ten minutes, whisking every minute or so. It will suddenly thicken, at that point turn the heat to medium and cook out for two more minutes. Add the cheese and mustard. 5. Mix the bacon and leeks, cheese sauce and pasta and pour into a baking dish. Add a small splash of pasta water - this prevents it from being too claggy (and makes it more saucy - remember the pasta soaks up sauce in the oven). Top with breadcrumbs and grate fresh parmesan on top. 6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbling.

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Hi! I’m Rachel Brady and I am a family food blogger. My blog, Well Worn Whisk, is all about helping mums (and dads) cook delicious meals from scratch for their family - without too much stress, faff or bother. My recipes are really quick (or really slow but quick to prepare), wholesome, diverse and hopefully delicious.

Learn more about Rachel on her blog.