Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Creamy Leek and Spinach Pasta

I’m back! At long last.

Thanks for asking about the article Paula, and yes it is you at: http://itsallgouda.blogspot.com/ who won the giveaway, just in case there was any doubt.

My latest story for Oklahoma Living Magazine is about a local botanical garden, which seemed to have me thwarted at every turn. Not only did I have a stinking cold, but the weather conspired against me as well. Every time I arranged an interview and a visit to the gardens there would be a thunderstorm, or a snowstorm, or freezing conditions, and it would have to be postponed. I had a few hairy moments when I thought this story would never get written, but this time I just snuck in under the wire.

I’m still doing well with my quit smoking campaign; it’s been just over 5 weeks now. Yay! I won’t say I don’t miss the ciggies, because I still do. Though I do now go for quite long periods without thinking about them. The worst times are still when I am writing under pressure for a deadline, then I could absolutely murder one. I was as grumpy as hell this past weekend, so I kicked Mick, and shouted at the cats. :-) Oh well, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Anyway enough of my rambling, on with the recipe. The inspiration for this recipe was good old Auntie Beeb again, but I’ve made so many changes that I’m claiming it as my own. The good thing about this recipe, besides its tasting divine, is it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. For a vegetarian meal, just omit the bacon stage.

Note on cleaning leeks. Leeks can 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.

Creamy Leek and Spinach Pasta


4 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
8 ounces penne pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large leeks, thoroughly cleaned, and sliced
Black pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves
8 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ground mustard
½ cup feta cheese, diced, or if using pre-crumbled use the large pieces + 2 tablespoons to serve
A couple of handfuls of spinach leaves, about 2 cups - ish.


  • In a large skillet over a medium high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Drain bacon fat from skillet, but don’t wipe pan.
  • Set a saucepan of water to boil to cook penne pasta. Cook on a rolling boil for about 7- 8 minutes until al-dente.
  • While pasta cooks, over a medium heat, add butter and olive oil to skillet and sauté leeks for 3 minutes. Season liberally with black pepper. Add sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Drain pasta.
  • Add cream, sour cream, and ground mustard to leek mixture and stir to combine. Stir in feta cheese. Heat until cheese begins to melt.
  • Add pasta to skillet and stir to combine. Add spinach and toss until wilted.
  • Transfer to warm plates, top with additional feta and bacon, and serve immediately.


Donna-FFW said...

This sounds absolutely delicious. Bacon, vream, it is screaming my name.. Can I pop in for a plate of this yummy goodness??

Mediterranean kiwi said...

leeksare one of my favorite vegetables - and bacon goes so well with them.

i love pasta cooked this way - i would finish them off in the oven for an extra crispy texture

Sara said...

This sounds great, I love leeks! And leeks go so well with bacon. Well really, bacon goes well with almost anything :)

Cheryl said...

Jan that looks delish, I just bought some Leeks yesterday, can you say Karma!

Jason said...

Jan-Oh wow, this is my type of pasta! I love the combination of fetta, and cream with the bacon.
I hope you are feeling better!

Lynda said...

I've been missing you Jan. I thought I might have to drive over and check on you! Glad that your doing better.
I will have to make this pasta with bacon and leeksas it looks wonderful! I wish I had it now!

Sophie said...

Jan, I love this sort of pasta!!! MMMMMM...Pure lovelyness!!

Pam said...

5 weeks! Wahhhooo! It gets easier and easier Jan, I promise.

The pasta is making me drool - I love all the ingredients and it looks so creamy and delicous. YUM.

Paula said...

I've not been able to visit the blogsphere much this week, but when I read about the Oklahoma wildfires, I immediately thought about you. Hope you are far from the danger zone.

Next, congrats on achieving the no-smoking 5 week mark, especially during a deadline! Hope your mouth/gums/teeth are healed up.

Botanical gardens are so lovely; hope that the uncooperative weather didn't disturb the garden itself.

Your pasta looks so good, and since we are having a late dinner tonight, I'm just about ready to climb through the screen to devour this. YUM!

And, lastly, yippee! I'm so excited that I won something! :-) I sent you my address via a separate email.

Denise said...

Delicious recipe Jan, thanks for sharing it.

Kevin said...

That pasta is looking good!

Jan said...

Hi Paula, Thanks for the concern, but I am nowhere near the danger zone for the wildfires, thank goodness.

The Blonde Duck said...

The pasta looks great! Congrats on the magazine gig!

Shelly said...

Your pasta looks delish, Jan! This is my first visit to your blog, and I really like it :) I've got you in my reader, and I look forward to your future posts.

The Blonde Duck said...

Hope you had a happy Easter!

Paula said...

Hi Jan ... Just wanted to let you know that I rec'd the cookbook! Oh, it's so lovely and full of amazing recipes. I hope to be channeling Ina all week! The notecard you enclosed is so pretty, too. Thanks again for this great book!

Jan said...

You're welcome, Paula, I'll look forward to seeing the recipes.