Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Penne with Speck and Leeks

Penne with Speck and Leeks

Another very busy period at work has left me little time for blogging but a recent lull has meant I've been able to catch up on some of my favourite blogs and so have found out about all those doing the fantastic Live Below the Line challenge. This asks people from all over the world to join the Global Poverty Project initiative in living on £1 a day for five consecutive days. Vanesther over at Bangers and Mash has successfully completed the challenge and her posts about it certainly make for interesting reading. She has decided to extend the frugal food theme to this month's Family Foodies challenge (which she runs jointly with Louisa from Eat Your Veg), entitled 'Cheap and Cheerful' so I'm sending this pasta dish over as it fits the bill perfectly. It's simple, delicious and has universal appeal which makes it ideal for a family meal. The leeks give a wonderful flavour and although the speck (an Italian smoked prosciutto, sometimes sold in the UK as Black Forest ham) is quite expensive, you only need a couple of slices to ensure that the wonderful smoky flavour of the ham permeates the pasta.


RECIPE- serves 3-4

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks

1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon crème fraîche or sour cream
4 slices Italian speck/Black Forest ham, finely sliced
400g penne or other short pasta

Start by preparing the leeks.  As they can be very dirty, I usually slice them in half length ways and then chop them finely. Put them in a colander and wash thoroughly under running water. Drain well. 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the leeks and cook gently until softened, being careful not to colour them as leeks can turn very bitter if they start to brown. Add the crushed garlic and continue cooking for a minute or two.

Stir through the crème fraîche. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water, as per packet instructions. Near the end of the cooking, take a ladleful of the pasta cooking water and add to the leeks. When the pasta is al dente, drain well and mix with the leeks.  Add the finely sliced speck (I usually just scissor it in) and mix briefly. If you're not watching the purse strings, serve the pasta with lots of freshly grated parmesan. 

Leek and Speck Pasta

1 comment:

  1. Ooh yum - this looks absolutely gorgeous and I so could have done with a big bowlful of this during the Live Below the Line challenge! Great entry for Family Foodies. Thanks so much for taking part.