Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ham, Leek, and Pasta Bake and an Award

This is just going to be a quickie post today as I have an award to give out. Hurray!

Many thanks to Cheryl over at:

Cheryl cooks up some fabulous recipes, as well as giving us weekly money saving tips, and allowing us an insight into the life of her pampered pooch, Martha Anne. If you’ve never visited her, I suggest you get your arse over there right away, if not sooner.

The rules for this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 (like Cheryl, I am doing 5) blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Pause for a drum roll, the lucky winners are:

Beth at I have been following Beth’s blog since she first started blogging. She’s a lovely lass and a great cook.

Jan at Jan loves Greek food, but also likes to put a new spin on many classic British dishes.

Sara at: Sara creates some wonderful dishes, and her presentation always looks so professional.

Lynda at: I have only just discovered Lynda’s blog, and it turns out we live quite close by each other. She has only been blogging for a few months, but she already has lots of tasty treats on her site.

Jo at This isn’t a cooking blog, which is perhaps as well as Jo is on a diet at the moment. But her blog isn’t all about dieting, Jo is one busy lady, and is lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful areas of England, the Lake District.

Check them all out, you’ll be glad you did.

Okay dokey, without further ado, I’ll get on with the recipe. The picture doesn’t do this dish justice as it was really rather yummy, and a great way to use up leftover ham.

Ham, Leek, and Pasta Bake


8 ounces penne pasta
2 - 3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of leftover ham, diced.
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon ground mustard
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs

Note. Leeks have a bit of a gritty texture, but if you prepare them this way that won’t happen. Top and tail your leeks - just use the white and pale green flesh - then slice them down the middle length ways, but don't cut them right through, then rinse them under running water for a minute or two and they'll be great.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  • Add pasta to a large pot of boiling water, reduce heat to medium high, boil gently for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch, sorry I couldn't resist. Put stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to simmer and add the leeks. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until leeks are tender. Drain and reserve stock in a jug.
  • Mix leeks and ham together in a 9 x 11 inch baking dish and season with fresh cracked pepper.
  • In same pan, melt butter over a medium heat. Remove pan from heat, stir in flour and mix to a smooth paste. Return pan to heat, and gradually add stock, stirring continuously. Add mustard, cream, and half the cheese, stir until thickened.
  • Add pasta to the sauce. Pour mixture over ham and leeks, top with remaining cheese, and the breadcrumbs, and bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

P.S. For those of you following the ongoing saga of my dental dilemma, on Wednesday, I progressed from the liquid diet onto a soft foods diet. Yay! Incidentally, my first meal was poached eggs, with soft bread and butter. I’ve never been so pleased to see a poached egg in my life. But it’s back to the dentist on Tuesday for yet more tooth grinding. (Sigh)


Paula said...

Congratulations on your award! I'll check out the blogs you mention, too. Your Ham, Leek, and Pasta Bake is great! It's like an upscale mac and cheese. I like leeks, but rarely have them. They sound so good here with the ham, cream, cheese, and pasta! YUM! Good luck at the dentist. I totally approve of your initiation back to food ... eggs! :-)

Jan said...

Congrats on your award!
Thank you so much for choosing me as one of the people to pass it on to.
Now that pasta bake is looking good!

Pam said...

Congrats on your award Jan! The pasta bake looks wonderful. I really need to try cooking with leeks more often.

I am glad you have moved on to soft foods - I love poached eggs.

Beth said...

Thanks for the award Jan. Pasta bake looks delicous - as does the wine!!!

Sara said...

Thanks for the award, I really appreciate it!

That pasta looks amazing too, although I do love anything that involves leeks :)

Cheryl said...

I have a new love for leeks and am always trying to find a way to use them, I will be trying this! I hope your dental dillemma is over with soon!

Lynda said...

Jan, congrats on the award and for passing it on to me! The pasta,ham and leek dish sounds so delicious! Sounds like a dish my family would love. Good luck at the dentist this week; glad you can at least have eggs!

Maria said...

Congrats and the pasta bake looks so comforting and delicious!

Jason said...

First of all, congrats on your award, you totally deserve it! Secondly-think I might have a crush on this recipe *sigh* pasta, leeks, ham, cream, cheese...You have just met all of my best friends!
I'm glad to see you've upgraded to baby food, hopefully you can eat something normal very soon, I can't imagine being so restricted in my diet. I'll fry up a good burger and eat it for you!

Jason said...

I just wanted to let you know that I had that burger I promised and it was delicious! I did get a salad instead of fries though, so I hope you don't feel too cheated. Hope you are feeling better!

Emily said...

That's it! I'm driving to your house right now. You always make delicious food!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks really good! Congrats on your award!

Kevin said...

I really like cheesy baked pasta dishes like this.

Dazy said...

This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its glamor. This is another must for the weekend! My kids would just hug me for this.