Carbonara with a Twist

This pasta is a delicious twist on a traditional carbonara.  The lemon gives the dish a bit of zest and the leeks lend some great flavor.  And, of course there is great smokiness from the bacon.

I used to think carbonara was a cream sauce.  For those of you not familiar with how carbonara is made, it is a sauce made with eggs and parmesan.  It’s definitely a bit heavier but its creaminess is entirely from the eggs and cheese.  The heat of the pasta actually cooks the raw eggs in the sauce so make sure your pasta is fresh out of the pot.

A delicious and quick weeknight pasta!

Pasta Carbonara with Leeks & Lemon
Everyday Food

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound short pasta, such as campanelle or orecchiette
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 ounce parmesan, grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk ¼ cup pasta water into egg mixture. Drain pasta and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Active time: 30 minutes

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