Comforting Carbonara: A New Recipe

After a long night party rocking on Saturday, all Jamie wanted on Sunday for his birthday dinner was something homemade and carby.  His request for baked ziti came a bit late in the afternoon so I offered him pasta carbonara since I know he loves it and there was a new recipe from Everyday Food I wanted to try.  Personally, I don't love pasta carbonara because I think its heavy and I don't love eggs, but the addition of lemon and leeks in this particular recipe really intrigued me.  The lemon and leeks lightened up the taste and add some needed pep and acid to this tried and true flavor combination.

Cast of Characters:

- 6 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces
- 4 leeks, thinly sliced
- 3/4 pound of short pasta (I used penne, since that's what they have)
- 2 eggs
 -1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp zest and 1 tbsp of juice from one lemon (I zested and juiced one entire lemon, but I love lemon)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley (I used half a bunch)
- Coarse salt and pepper

1) Set a pasta pot of salted water on the stove to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

2) Rinse and cut your leeks.  After cutting your leeks, rinse them again in a strainer to make sure all the sand/silt is removed.  Maybe I got really dirty leeks this time, but mine needed this extra rinse.

3) Cook bacon in a large skillet for 8-10 minutes until brown and crispy.  Set on several paper towels to drain.  Trim off excess fat.  Pour off all but 1-2 tbsp of the bacon grease into a container/coffee cup for another use or garbage.  Be careful, bacon grease is lava hot!

4) In the remaining 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease, cook the leeks for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on all sides.  Season with salt and pepper.

5) Whisk together the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and the 1/4 cup of pasta water (regular ol' water will do if you forget like me).

6) Add drained pasta, egg mixture, bacon and leeks into the skillet and stir it up, little darling stir it up (sorry Bob Marley on the brain.) You want your egg mixture to be cooked all the way through.  Season with salt and pepper, add parsley and more Parmesan cheese if you so desire.

Mangia, mangia! Like I said, this recipe was surprisingly light and full of flavor.  I liked the added lemon zest and juice against the crunchy leeks and salty bacon.  Given the saltiness of the bacon and cheese, I went fairly aggressive with the cracked pepper which added some additional pep to the flavor combination. I was happy with it, Jamie loved it, and on Sunday that was all that mattered.  Happy cooking!


Kristin said...

Ohhhhhhh, that looks so delicious!

creativefashionglee said...

I think i can use this recipe for my husband´s birthday. Thanks for sharing. :)

Angela said...

Lemon makes everything better! Wish I could eat this right now right now! (obviously didn't have enough fiber/protein in my breakfast today... :)

SassyUptownChic said...

Cara, this looks super yummy girl. I'm going to try it. Love the cast of characters part. You are too cute. Hope you're having an awesome day! ((HUG))

Gloria said...

I've never thought of adding leeks to my carbonara - sounds super tasty!

All Things Yummy said...

I must admit, I've never had carbonara, but the recipe looks good. I'll have to try it.

laura said...

I have to admit, I'm not a carbonara gal myself, but only because I really don't like knowing that it's all eggs and cheese and bacon. I mean, it's good, but eggs and cheese and bacon. ALTHOUGH! the added greens makes it healthier right?
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

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