Two pasta posts in a row! I guess I’m on a pasta kick lately. But pasta is one of those things that I just never get sick of. It’s also the ultimate comfort food. Then, when you combine leeks, bacon, and mushrooms in a creamy sauce and pour that over the pasta, it’s pretty much heaven in a bowl.
I have a confession. This was my first time cooking with leeks. I love the flavor of leeks so I don’t know why I’ve never cooked with them before. I guess because they are a pain to clean and always look a little intimidating in the grocery store. Also, I’ve never really made anything and thought, “you know what this is missing? Leeks!”, but needless to say, they really are a delicious veggie. They have a great mild onion flavor and they go really well in pasta dishes and soups. Trader Joe’s also sells pre-trimmed leeks (is that cheating??) and I guess that made it a little easier for me. But I can assure you, this will not be my last time cooking with leeks and next time I may even buy the untrimmed, unwashed version and do it all myself! Sometimes you gotta take risks…
2 tbsp of butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
6 slices of bacon diced into bite sized pieces
3 cloves of garlic
5 oz. of baby portabello mushrooms thinly sliced (1 heaping cup)
3/4 cup chicken stock
6 oz. cream cheese cubed
12 oz. of farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
salt and pepper to taste
1. Start by boiling a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to package directions or until the pasta is al dente (cooked through but still firm). Drain well and set to the side.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, sautee the bacon until crisp. About 8 minutes. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it on a plate lined with a paper towel.
3. In a separate large skillet or pot, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced leeks that have been rinsed well. Sautee the leeks over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they are soft.
4. Add in the sliced mushrooms and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sautee the vegetables for 3 more minutes.
5. Next, add the diced cream cheese and the chicken stock to the vegetables. Stir and break apart the cream cheese until the chicken stock and cream cheese are nicely combined into a creamy sauce and mixed with the vegetables.
6. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and vegetable mixture. Add in the bacon and parmesan cheese and mix well.
7. Serve in bowls with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.