Warm Caramelized Leek Pasta Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese is an elevated pasta salad that’s worthy of entertaining with.
Pasta is one of those things that usually gets forgotten in my kitchen. I didn’t grow up eating much pasta (it just wasn’t one of my mom’s favorites) and these days I try to keep my carbs down, so it isn’t a dish that’s on my radar very often. But recently I had the idea for a warm pasta salad full of vegetables and refined flavors and I knew I had to put pasta back on the menu!
This is probably unlike most other pasta salads you’ve had. For me, it is unique in a few different ways: 1) it is served warm instead of cold, 2) it boasts the addition of quite a few veggies to bump up the nutrition, and 3) it has a fairly refined flavor profile going on!
Caramelized leeks add subtle sweetness and depth of flavor, bacon lends smokiness, dry white wine adds complexity, and Laura Chenel’s Original Premium Goat Cheese Medallion crumbled on top adds creamy texture and tangy, bright flavor. You could even add a generous handful of artichoke hearts to get in another vegetable if you like.
Speaking of that goat cheese, I’ve also been enjoying Laura Chenel’s Poppy Seed & Peppercorn Medallions smeared on a slice of my toasted Best Paleo Sandwich Bread (it would also be great on a bagel!) and Sundried Tomato & Basil Medallions crumbled into an omelet with wilted greens. Next on my list to try is their Chives & Shallots Medallions crumbled on top of grilled chicken, served along with any vegetables I can think of to grill up for an easy late-summer supper.
I’d say this dish is a far cry from the pasta salads of my youth! It will make a beautiful, sophisticated addition to your Labor Day spread.
What’s your go-to pasta salad?
- 8 oz (225 g) penne pasta, cooked to al dente according to the package directions
- 4 slices bacon (add 2 tablespoons avocado oil if using turkey bacon), chopped
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
- 1 cup (100 g) button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 small or 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup (180 ml) dry white wine
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 (3.5 oz) Laura Chenel’s Original Premium Goat Cheese Medallion, crumbled
- Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Add the bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil, leaving the drippings in the pan.
- Add the leeks and mushrooms to the pan the bacon was cooked in and cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are softened and just starting to turn golden brown in spots, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the bell pepper and garlic and cook over medium-high 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the wine, salt, black pepper, and al dente pasta. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the pasta salad to a serving dish and top with the crumbled goat cheese, crisped bacon, and fresh parsley.
- Serve warm.
Disclosure: I received the Laura Chenel’s goat cheese that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.