Some nights (or maybe more like a majority of nights) I crave a big bowl of pasta for dinner. I'm sometimes satisfied with my favorite shape, tossed with a little bit of parm, and topped with some salt. Other nights though, I crave a little bit more. Basically, think a restaurant-like pasta dish (rich, ultra-satisfying, and always delicious), but maybe a little bit healthier, and still just as simple as any weeknight pasta.
So here is that dish. When you're starving after work it's so easy to think any extra ingredients aren't worth the trouble, but when you're sitting there twirling creamy fettuccine noodles in your spoon you will fully appreciate the *tiny* bit more effort this dish is than another.
You'll start by cooking the pancetta and leeks. Once your leeks are cleaned and sliced, and your pancetta is diced, it's time to cook these 2 essential ingredients up. This is as easy as:
Once the pancetta is crisp and the leeks are soft, it's as easy as tossing in some garlic, and seasoning the leeks with salt and pepper. And an important note on the pancetta - although it may look like a small amount once it's cooked, I can assure you the flavor it leaves behind in the pan is mighty. So don't hate on the browned bits you remove and just trust that they are leaving behind the most wonderful base for the rest of your pasta sauce.
While this sauce may taste like a deliciously creamy sauce you'd find in a restaurant, it's actually pretty light, but still so flavorful. It reminds me of a cross between a carbonara and an alfredo, both of which I love. All you'll need to add is:
This recipe is also great because these ingredients are added right into the skillet with the leeks. Simmer this combination over low heat until it begins to thicken up. While simple, the flavors from the pancetta and leeks adds so much. While the sauce is thickening, cook up that fettuccine, making sure to reserve some pasta water!
Once the sauce is done it's as easy as tossing the cooked fettuccine through the sauce. Once the pasta is drained, you'll want to immediately add it to the sauce along with the reserved pancetta. Toss it all together, and continue cooking for a few minutes to ensure the sauce coats the pasta. If needed, add in some of the reserved pasta water to ensure the sauce is the perfect creamy and glossy consistency.
Be sure to add on some freshly grated parm and additional thyme and black pepper. Extra points for a solid fork twirl.
Enjoy this health(ier) delicious carbonara-cousin infused with the most delicious leek and pancetta flavors.
Basically like carbonara, hold the eggs, keep the carbs and the creamy, cheesy sauce in this leek and pancetta fettuccine.
We're so glad you’re here! Have a look around at some of our favorite recipes and stay a while.
Get a fresh delivery of only the goods delivered to your inbox.