Pasta is a staple in my pantry. I like to have it available in all shapes and sizes. On a harried day, I like to throw pasta into a pot of water. In less than 30 minutes, I have a meal. Meal planning is easier with pasta as an option The Leek and Lemon Pasta Bake is not one of my emergency meals. It is one of my meal plan option.
As I mentioned in my previous post on roasting the perfect chicken, making chicken ahead of time is one way I can ensure I eat a decent home-cooked meal. Usually, there are drippings left in the pan after I cook chicken. Those drippings make a fantastic starting point for making the leek and lemon pasta bake. A pasta bake is a versatile conception with infinite variations. I chose the leek and lemon as the cornerstone of this pasta bake because I had them on hand. In particular, two lemons were dehydrated and I wanted to use them. This dish was a wonderful opportunity to manage my food waste. Besides the leek and the lemon, I added in some olives, thyme, rosemary and the backbone for the roasted chicken.
Even if you have roasted a chicken in the oven, this pasta bake is a good way of planning ahead. Assembling the dish ahead of time without the liquid makes it easy to cook later. At mealtime, place the pasta in the oven after adding in the liquid. Or, with a bit more supervision than the oven, the stovetop is a suitable alternative as well. When making this pasta dish on the stovetop, feel free to add in the rind from cheese.
The resulting pasta is creamy and full of flavor. Cooking the pasta with the leek and olives from the starts helps build the flavor of the dish. The pasta absorbs the flavor better as it commingles with everything in the pan. Playing with the type of pasta used in the bake also yields a different experience. Using orzo pasta would yield a dish that has a lot in common with the risotto.
The Leek and Lemon Pasta Bake Recipe is below.
Leek and Lemon Pasta Bake
- 4 cups Pasta Shell
- 6 Cups Chicken Broth
- 3 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1/4 cup Olive chopped
- 1 stalk Leek White slices
- 1 Lemon chopped and deseeded
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan optional
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a baking tray, add in all the ingredients except the parmesan. Cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven. Let it cook for about 45-50 minutes then check if the liquid has been absorbed and pasta is tender. When pasta is tender, and liquid is absorbed, pull out of the oven. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
- If making on a stove top, add all ingredients into a pot, except cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When pasta is soft, turn off the heat and sprinkle with cheese. Serve.