Food & Recipes

A Recipe for a Different Kind of Carbonara

A Different Carbonara – Creamy Pappardelle with Leeks & Bacon

The author of this recipe is Sara Jenkins published in the February 2013 issue of Bon Appétit. When I’m looking at new pasta recipes (a favorite carb), I always stop at ones that include bacon. I love bacon – not a secret among my friends! This is a little different because leeks are added to provide sweetness to offset the salt of the bacon. It’s a very simple dish to make for a great impromptu get-together with friends.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add leeks and season with salt.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add cream, thyme, and 1/2 cup water.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  8. Add pasta, Parmesan, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.






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