Ade dug up the last of the allotment leeks at the weekend. They’ve grown really well this season; we’ve had a steady supply of them for a couple of months which is great as they’re such a useful ingredient for warming, winter comfort foods.
Here’s a recipe for a quick, midweek supper which can be made from scratch in half an hour and combines lovely, seasonal leeks with mackerel and pasta, all baked together in a creamy sauce with herbs fresh from the garden.
LEEK AND MACKEREL PASTA BAKE
Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins: Serves: 4
300g leeks (about five small homegrown leeks, trimmed and chopped)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A few sage leaves, chopped
2 smoked and peppered mackerel fillets, flaked
300ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
Squeeze of lemon
Knob of butter
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to instructions.
Meanwhile, in a larger pan, gently sauté the chopped garlic, sage and leeks in the butter for ten to fifteen minutes.
Heat the grill.
When the leeks are soft, stir in the creme fraiche, flaked fish, horseradish sauce and add a squeeze of lemon. Turn off the heat and stir well.
Drain the pasta and add to the leek mix. Stir it all together. (Adjust the seasoning if you need to, although I find this is one of the few dishes which requires no additional salt or pepper; the mackerel provides it all!)
Tip everything into a baking dish, smooth the top and scatter with the breadcrumbs. Grill for about ten minutes until golden brown.
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