Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Saturday, January 3, 2015


This is a quick meal-- it can be ready 
in about thirty minutes.

Pasta, Leeks, Bacon, Cream, Parmesan 
Cheese-- what's not to like!?!?

Just lately, I bought LEEKS for the very first time!  I've heard a lot of professional chefs mention them quite a bit and if using LEEKS is good for them, I figured they could be good for me (us!).  The only thing about buying them is that my husband was with me at the time.  This is the posting I put on facebook about that:

"A number of years ago, as I was in the process of 

making a big kettle of soup, four-yr. old Grandson Ben

 saw me chopping up some apples and said "M-m-m!"

Then, when I switched to chopping onions, potatoes

and cabbage, he asked, "What are you making?"

Cabbage Soup-- all of these things go into it, I told him.

 Very quickly, as polite as he could be, his "M-m-m-m"

 changed to "You don't have to make any of that for

 me."  Well,... today, WJ was with me as I picked up

 some leeks in the grocery store and I had a

 FLASHBACK as I heard him (my husband) quietly say

 to me, "You don't have to make any of that for me."

 (Like grandson, like grandpa?)  For me, lesson learned

-- shop alone!"

Twice, since I bought the leeks, my husband has eaten them without knowing, and he even said he liked what he was eating. So, LEEKS will be on my regular shopping list from now on.

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces mezzi rigatoni, or other short pasta.  (I used Ronzoni "Smart Taste" brand of Penne Rigate.)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-in pieces.
  • 1 bunch of leeks (there were three in the "bunch" I used).  Cut the root end off and use the white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced and rinsed WELL!*
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a bit extra for topping.
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing when finished.
  1. Bring a large pot of "Kosher-salted" water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.  I had to cook mine for about 12 minutes.  (Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain off the rest.)
  2. Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes(?).  Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet.
  3. Add the sliced/washed leeks to the bacon grease in the skillet.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the heavy cream and cook only until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked/drained pasta to the skillet of leeks/cream along with the Parmesan cheese, half of the bacon pieces and more pepper (if desired).  
  6. Toss to coat and, if you wish, add just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to get the consistency you like.  
  7. To serve, top with the remaining bacon pieces, more grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped pieces of flat leaf parsley.

 * One of the cooks I was watching lately said to slice the leeks and then let them float in cold water-- any sand/soil should settle on the bottom.  Scoop the floating leeks off and you should be good to go.

** This recipe was adapted (and changed a bit) from one I found on the Internet, a recipe posting of the Food Network and it can be found at:

Here's another version of this dish using pancetta:

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