Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks

I ran into a small problem with this one. The problem is that you cannot find something as extravagant as pancetta  in a Wal Mart in Oklahoma City. All you find are blank stares and confused faces. Oh well....good thing regular ole' bacon is a good substitute. Go ahead and dice up about 3-4 oz of bacon (ideally the dices should be the size of a pea, I was not so patient). Saute in a large skillet until it starts to brown.

Start your Farfalle (bow tie pasta) cooking
When pasta is done, set aside some pasta water.

While the bacon or pancetta is cooking, slice your leeks. I love leeks because they are similar to an onion, but the smell is much milder. They look just like a giant green onion.

You'll want to slice 3 leeks thinly all the way up to where it starts looking tough and darker green. Throw the root end away. You can throw away the outer layer too. You don't need it. They seriously smell so good. I would fill a huge bathtub with them and soak up the scent for hours.....don't judge me.

Toss them in a colander and rinse them really well.While rinsing, separate the layers.
When a leek grows, it traps dirt between the layers so you'll always want to rinse them before use.
I sound like I know a ton about gardening. I don't. I call myself Black Thumb. Nothing lives for me-I'm surprised my kids have survived so long. In other recipes I usually slice the leek down the center (long way) and then slice it. I kinda wish I had done that. Do whatever the heck you feel like.

When the bacon is starting to brown, add the leeks and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add a couple pats of butter.

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup dry white wine. As I do not partake of alcohol, or even cook with it, I used chicken broth instead. If you use wine, cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until reduced. The chicken broth did not reduce, but I cooked it the extra 1-2 minutes just for kicks.

Reduce heat to low and add 1/2 cup heavy cream.
  Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in some parmesan shavings. I don't know how many.....grab a handful, close your eyes, and throw some parmesan at the stove. However much makes it in the pot, that's how much you use. I like parmesan, so I am not shy with it.                                                                

Serve immediately with, yes, more parmesan. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman


Elizabeth said...

I love this and will make it again! I would probably add more bacon. I love the leeks. They give it some great flavor without the strong onion taste.

Nicole Asay said...

This is different than the other one!!! This is a cream base and the other is tomato based. I will add the other the next time I make it:)