Leeks and bacon are a perfect match. Add some pasta to the mix, and you have a salty, savory, slightly sweet, crave-worthy dinner on your hands.
If you haven’t cooked with leeks before, it’s important to know that they grow in sandy soil, so they can be gritty and need to be thoroughly cleaned. Here’s my easy method for getting them recipe ready. Fill a large bowl with cool water. Cut off the leek’s dark green end, trimming to the part where the color is pale green. Trim off the root end and slice the leek in half lengthwise. Then proceed to slice the leeks into half rounds. Place the slices into the bowl of water and swish around. The dirt will sink to the bottom and the leek slices will float. Then just scoop out the leek slices and pat them dry. Now, they are ready to use.
Even with the extra cleaning time for the leeks, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s simple, comforting and delicious. This combination may easily become one of your favorite weeknight meals.
Bacon & Leek Pasta
- One 8-oz. box Explore Cuisine Organic Chickpea Fusilli
- 2 bacon strips, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, cook the diced bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat
- Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
- Add three tablespoons olive oil to the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the sliced leeks and minced garlic to the pan. Cook until softened.
- Toss in the cooked pasta. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and lemon zest.
- Stir to combine and serve.
Alicia Ghio is a passionate home cook on a mission to inspire others to know where their food comes from, to know what’s in it and to savor the flavors of fresh, local ingredients. She is the founder and author of the blog Local Food Rocks.