Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feasts and Festivals: St. David's Day

St. David is the patron saint of Wales. A sixth century Welsh bishop, David founded monasteries and churches in Wales, Southwest England and Brittany. David is believed to have lived 100 years, dying on March 1, 589. David's miracle was spontaneously creating a hill. No, not with buckets of dirt; the earth supposedly rose up under him.1 There is also a legend that David warns the people of Wales when there will be a death in the community through corpse candles (will-o'-the-wisps).2
St. David's Cathedral photo from Wikipedia

While not a traditional recipe, this pasta has the required St. David's Day ingredient: leeks. The leek is St. David's personal symbol and has come to represent the country of Wales, as well.

"Ay, leeks is good..."
-Shakespeare's Henry V (V:1)

Leek and Bacon Rigatoni

1/2 lb rigatoni (or other tube-y pasta or whichever shape is in the pantry)
4 rashers bacon, cut into lardons
1 large leek, white and light green parts, finely sliced
1/4 cup garlic and herb soft cheese (like Boursin or Alouette)

Boil pasta according to package directions. Be sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water before it's drained.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is nice and hot, add the bacon and fry until it's crisp and has rendered its fat. Sauté the leek until very soft, turning down heat if necessary to keep leek from burning.

Turn off heat under skilled and stir in drained pasta and cheese. Add a bit of pasta water if the cheese/leek/bacon mixture is too stiff to coat pasta. I found that the bacon and cheese made the dish salty enough, but you may need salt to taste.

Serves 2

Adapted from BBC Good Food.


"If you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek."
-Henry V (ibid.)


A note about new Blogger Captcha codes:
Evidently when they changed to these new (even worse!) Captcha codes, they somehow overrode the "turn comment moderation off."  I suspected as much after visiting blogs that never had Captcha codes for commenting before. If you're wondering what to do about them, you'll have to switch back to the old Blogger interface, go to Settings, then Comments and turn them off. There's no option in the new Blogger interface to end comment moderation. I hope this has turned them off on my blog--please let me know!


  1. Thanks for sharing about St. David and the lore surrounding him in Wales. Learned a new thing.

    The leeks & bacon riagatoni looks seriously delicious!

  2. This pasta looks like just my kinda thang. Yum.

  3. I love when you highlight these festivals! So much fun :) and this pasta looks so yummy! I've only ever used leeks while making potato soup. I need to use them more, they're good!

  4. Enjoyed the info on the festival and the rigatoni looks awesome! I'll have to check my blog comment section...

    1. I don't think yours has captcha codes. Don't know how you managed to avoid them!

  5. looks delicious! I had never heard of St.David's Day before

  6. This pasta looks scrumptious!

  7. My mouth is watering! That pasta looks so good. Of course I had to come to your blog to learn about St David's day, haha! I am one ignorant Brit (or maybe just too English!)

    Am about to click "publish" fingers crossed no horrid captcha!

  8. Oh my I am a pasta fiend definitely will try this! xx

  9. GREAT pasta recipe and a belated happy St David's Day to you!!

  10. This looks good Lauren. Bacon and leeks and pasta. What's not to like?

  11. I did not know about St. David's Day, this was very interesting to read, thanks.

  12. I love all I learn from you, Lauren! I just heard of St David's Day for the first time and I appreciate reading the background here. Anything with leeks is a winner with us!

  13. How interesting abou St. David's Day. I am part Welsh and never knew about this. I love your recipe for rigatoni with leeks. Also your Shakespeare quotes. Have a great week!


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