Caesar Pasta

Cooking time
Serves4 people

This effortless pasta dish has all the fantastic flavours reminiscent of a Caesar salad. And it’s a brilliant way to use a bundle of lettuce, especially in the cooler months when salad’s out of fashion.

4 ratings


  • 350g penne pasta
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A few glugs of olive oil
  • 1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, snipped into 2cm chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A good pinch of fresh rosemary and/or thyme, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4-6 large handfuls of finely chopped lettuce (just about any kind, apart from iceberg)*
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • A touch of lemon juice and zest

* Lettuces that work brilliantly are those massive big green ones you get in your box: Cos, Oak leaf, Butter leaf, Red salanova. Delicate mixed leaves, lamb's lettuce, watercress and rocket also fare well in this dish.

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1. Boil your pasta in a pot of salted boiling water, with a splash of oil, according to pack instructions.
2. Heat a large frying pan. Add a splash of oil. Swirl in the leek and bacon. Cook till both are starting to pick up colour.
3. Add the garlic and rosemary. Cook for a mo.
4. Once the pasta is done, scoop out ½ mug of the cooking water. Drain the rest.
5. Toss the pasta, butter and a handful of parmesan into the pan with the bacon and leeks. Mix well. Add a splash of the reserved cooking water to loosen everything up, making the butter and cheese a bit saucy.
6. Fold in the lettuce. Season well with pepper. Add a touch of lemon zest and juice to brighten the flavours. Scatter the remaining Parmesan over. Taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
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