Midweek dinner : Leek and bacon penne bake

Recipe from M&S Autumn food magazine

Serves 4. Ready in 1 hour.


  • 1 tsbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 5 rashers of bacon, chopped
  • 250g penne
  • 40g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 125g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • slice of white bread, whizzed into crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan, 400F). Heat oil in frying pan and gently cook the leeks for 6-8 minutes until soft; remove and set aside.
  2. Fry the bacon until crispy, then set aside. Meanwhile, cook the penne for 5 minutes; drain, then return to the pan.
  3. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Over a very low heat, gradually stir in the milk. Cook for 5-6 minute, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick. Stir in the mustard and half the cheese, then season to taste.
  4. Add the leeks and bacon to the penne, stir well, pour over the sauce, then toss together. Transfer to ovenproof dish.
  5. Mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese, season with pepper and scatter over the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling around the edges.


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