Comfort food (not soup!): leek and turkey bacon bow-ties

Leek and turkey bacon bow-ties in alfredo sauce in a white bowl.

As I mentioned in my earlier post about potato leek soup, I’ve been ill since the beginning of the new year and I haven’t done a lot of cooking as a result. I’m just starting to feel like I’m on the mend, so I was able to stand in the kitchen for a little longer today than yesterday to make something with a little more substance than soup.

Don’t get me wrong: soup is great and very comforting, but  sometimes you want something with a bit more chew. Pasta is something I don’t have on a regular basis but I usually have some boxes of whole wheat noodles or pasta in the pantry at all times, just in case. Considering I’m low on proteins in the fridge right now, I had to work with what I had. There is some ground chicken and some pork schnitzels in the freezer, but both need thawing before they can be used. What protein do I have in abundance in the fridge? Low-sodium turkey bacon! Yum!

Considering I still had three leeks to use up, as well, I rummaged around in the pantry a bit more and found that I had a single bottle of store-bought Alfredo sauce. Now, I could start to see a meal forming in my head, so I went to work. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients

  • 1 box whole wheat bow-tie pasta (or your favourite pasta/noodles) – cooked and drained
  • 2 tsp no salt butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices low sodium turkey bacon, diced (you can use real bacon if you prefer! — just drain it a bit before adding the leeks)
  • 3 leeks, chopped and washed
    • I only use the white and light green parts, cut the stem length-wise, then chop it up and wash them in a bowl of water to let the grit float to the bottom — use a ‘spider’ or slotted spoon to fish out the leeks
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp Mrs Dash Table Blend seasoning
  • 1 jar store-bought Alfredo sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated light Parmesan (or regular)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (or whatever milk/cream you prefer)

Method

  1. In a wok or large skillet, heat butter and extra virgin olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Cook the turkey bacon for a minute or two, allowing it to start to crisp up.
  3. Add the leeks and seasonings, then stir to mix. Cook until the leeks wilt down (a few minutes).
  4. Pour in the Alfredo sauce and stir to mix.
  5. Heat through for a few minutes. The sauce will start to change colour as the seasonings mix and cook into it.
  6. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and milk and cook a little while longer until the mixture is bubbling all over. Remember to stir a few times to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. In a large ceramic or glass serving dish, pour in the cooked pasta, then the sauce over the top of the pasta.
  8. Mix thoroughly in the bowl and serve topped with a little bit of grated mozzarella or Monterrey Jack cheese and some chopped or dried parsley.

Makes: approximately 6 servings.

Nutritional value per serving: 352 calories, 47g carbs, 13g fat, 13g protein, 565mg sodium, 3g sugar

It’s a little bit higher in the carbs than I’d prefer but next time, I might cook up another meat (like baked chicken) and serve this in a smaller, half-sized side-dish portion for half the values (176 calories, 23.5g carbs, 6.5g fat, 6.5g protein, 282.5mg sodium, 1.5g sugar).

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2 thoughts on “Comfort food (not soup!): leek and turkey bacon bow-ties

  1. I just stumbled across your blog right now and I’m so happy I did. I really appreciate how you cook from a realistic point of view. I can come home and whip up food and not have to worry about special gourmet techniques.

    I plan on making this tonight. YES!

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m not a chef and I’ve had no formal training — just a line of women in my family who were all fantastic cooks who allowed me to hang out with them in the kitchen and learn from their experience. 🙂

      I’m all about keeping things as simple as possible. I watch the Food Network a lot, and so I’m always looking for those short-cuts or little tips that some of the big name chefs share from time to time that make things easier. For instance, I used to think the only way you could make a flavourful stew was to brown the beef first, in small batches so as not to ‘steam’ the meat — then I saw a recipe by Jamie Oliver that indicated you didn’t need to do that. Just saute your onion, add your spices, flour your beef cubes and throw it all in the pot with your liquids and other veggies, then throw in the oven at 300F for 3-4 hours and you had a yummy pot of stew. (I’ll be sharing my version of this recipe shortly!)

      I’m always looking for tips like that which not only make life in the kitchen easier but are still really tasty.

      I’m so happy you liked this recipe and I hope your version turned out well! 😀

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write. I appreciate knowing others are reading and liking what they see. 🙂

      Cheers!

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