I'm back from my hols. I've missed doing my blog, but have had a relaxing week away with good company and good food. I hope I haven't been too much of a control freak in the kitchen. We planned the meals beforehand and had an online shop delivered to the holiday house. It really makes for a relaxing holiday, not having to think about food shopping when you are away. We really ate well, I've got a couple of new recipes to try from my friend Jane, which I'll do in due course. Last night we had a really old favourite, Delia Smiths, leek and bacon macaroni, from "The complete illustrated cookery course". It's a great meal when cooking for a large number of people and can be prepared well before hand, and cooked when needed. Ingredients Serves 4 350g penne or macaroni 50g butter olive oil 3 small leeks, thinly sliced 175g streaky bacon, chopped into strips For the sauce: 50g butter 50g plain flour 850ml milk 75ml double cream Salt and freshly ground black pepper Freshly ground nutmeg (optional) 175g cheddar cheese, grated For the topping: 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional) Cayenne pepper (optional) Method Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add a few drops of olive oil and cook the penne for exactly 10 minutes Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside. In large, heavy frying pan melt 50g of butter then add the leeks and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat until the leeks are browning and the bacon is somewhat crispy. Meanwhile, make a white sauce by putting the remaining the butter, the flour, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring gently to a simmer and stir until thick and bubbly. Stir in the cheese and add a generous grinding of black pepper, and some nutmeg. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, leek mixture and cheese sauce. Place in one large gratin dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, then dust lightly with cayenne pepper. Bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes until nicely brown and bubbly. If prepared ahead and refrigerated, allow for a few minutes extra cooking time.