For me, pasta is such a fast, easy, and tasty meal. Serve it with a big salad and it’s perfect for those busy nights when you don’t have enough time to cook.
This recipe was the cover recipe for the March 2014 issue of Food Network magazine and the reason I purchased the issue (although the recipe is also freely available online). It was a bacon issue – need I say more?
I’m not the biggest fan of eating meat, but something about bacon that is just. so. tasty.
This pasta reminded me a lot of a Carbonara sauce. It has the bacon, it has the cheese, but it does not have the raw egg. In contrast to Carbonara sauce, this dish has leeks in it.
Reserving pasta water is key! Otherwise, the dish will be dry.
After the bacon has been sliced and cooked, reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings and use it to cook the leeks.
Then simply add your cream, half of your bacon, cheese, pepper, and pasta. Add some pasta water to loosen things up and then top with more bacon, and cheese.
At the time of this writing, this dish received 5-star reviews from the Food Network site. One reviewer mentioned adding peas, which sounds like a wonderful idea. Next time!
Recipe from Food Network
bacon, leek, and cheese pasta
- 12 ounces of pasta (I used penne)
- 4 slices bacon , cut into 1/2 pieces
- 1 bunch leeks , white and light green parts only, sliced thinly
- 3/4 heavy cream
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese , plus more for topping
- reserved pasta water (will need this or the dish will be too dry)
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.
In the meantime, cook bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan, and place on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in pan and pour off the rest of the bacon fat.
Add leeks to reserved bacon fat in pan, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add cream and continue cooking for about 2 minutes.
Add drained pasta to pan with cream and leeks, and add half the bacon, the Parmesan, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Add a small amount of pasta water (enough to loosen the mixture).
Top with the other half of bacon, extra Parmesan, and parsley.