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Creamy Leek and Pasta Flan

This dish is delicious both fresh out of the oven or served chilled on a hot summer's day with a crisp green salad.

Image of Creamy Leek and Pasta Flan

100g/4oz dried orecchiette (ears)
Dash of olive oil, plus 45ml/3tbsp
A little flour, for dredging
350g/12oz puff pastry, thawed if frozen
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
450g/1lb leeks, washed, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm/1inch chunks
2tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 eggs, beaten
150ml/╝pt single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g/3oz grated red Leicester cheese


Serves: 6


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the orecchiette with a dash of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and set aside.

Dredge the work surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry. Use to line a greased, 25cm/10inch loose-bottomed fluted flan ring. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the garlic, leeks and thyme for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the orecchiette and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Place the beaten eggs in a mixing jug and whisk in the cream and salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the leek and pasta mixture to the pastry case, spreading out evenly. Pour over the egg and cream mixture, then sprinkle over with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture is firm and the pastry is crisp.

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