When I told someone about this dish, they said, “Oh, you are making Pasta Carbonara.” Well maybe, but the person who gave me the recipe called it Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks. Not sure it matters, but I am all for honesty and full disclosure. Really.
This dish was pretty tasty. Since I did not know what pancetta was, I substituted Oscar Meyer bacon. I’m a bacon Ninja, and I figure using bacon almost guarantees some level of success. If all else fails, you can pick the bacon bits out of the dish and all will be well.
I would like to know though, what exactly is pancetta? Yes, of course I could Google it, but you can tell me what it tastes like and where one might find it. The local Jewel was fresh out or maybe I was looking in all the wrong places.
Below are the details of how I made this dish. We will make a great team. I have cooking questions and you have cooking answers, right?
Step one: Use any pasta I had in my pantry. First question, does everyone have pasta in their pantry? I didn’t. So now I was faced with choosing between 300 hundred different kinds of grocery store pasta. I decided on bowtie pasta. It just seemed to make more of an effort than the other pastas.
Step two: Boil 12 oz package of bowtie pasta until al dente. Whenever I see the words “al dente,” it makes me think of little pastas all running around naked. Why? I’m not sure, it just does.
Step three: Prepare leeks. Grab some leeks, and cut of the ends. Start cutting at the point where the green starts getting dark and looking tough, decapitate the tops, peel off the outer layer, and slice up the leeks thinly. Leeks are a violent vegetable to prepare. I found myself apologizing every step of the way.
Step four: Next, I was supposed to fry up the pancetta, but as we already discussed, I used Oscar Meyer Bacon. As always, my bacon was cooked to perfection and should have won an award for “most perfectly cooked bacon the world has ever seen.”
Step five: I introduced the leeks to the bacon and they sautéed together until the leeks softened. Next I added a lot of butter. My brother-in-law, Mr. Gourmand, says you can never use too much butter. I believe him. The bacon, leeks, and butter hung out together happily for about 8-10 minutes.
Step six: Pour in a little wine. I used Pinot Grigio wine, because someone told me if I did, I would be like Ramona on Real Housewives. Is that a good thing? I have never seen the show.
Step seven: Pour in a little heavy cream. What measurement does “a little” translate into? I guessed and used 1/2 cup. If I am elected president, I will add an amendment to the constitution that reads “No recipe shall ever use the words small, little, pinch, smidgen, bit, handful or simmer.”
Step eight: Turn off the heat. Introduce the cooked bowtie pasta to the bacon, leeks, butter, Pinot Grigio, and heavy cream. Add Parmesan cheese. I was supposed to shave several pieces off a block of Parmesan but Cole spent our cheese money on bleu cheese this month, so canned Kraft 100 Percent Parmesan Cheese had to be fine enough. It was, after all,100 percent grated Parmesan with no fillers.
And finally … I called Cole to dinner, we sat down, and offered a prayer of thanks. Cole is always very, very thankful when I cook. I love that about him. We picked up our forks and bravely took a bite, looked at each other and smiled. It was good. It was really was very good.
Now it’s your turn. What would you do differently? What tips do you have for us? What should we try next? If you think you can trust me, send me one of your favorite recipes to try out on Odd! The kitchen is still the last place on Earth I want to be, but it’s certainly more fun with you for company!!
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to hang around with us any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!
12 thoughts on “Can We Cook? Pasta with Oscar Meyer Bacon and Leeks!”
This sounds very tasty. You were close with bacon. in fact I would have probably prefered bacon to Pancetta. I just know one day your going to ask for my recipes.
Yhea…I think now that I know a little more about Pancetta, I prefer bacon. You just can not go wrong with Oscar Meyer!
*DM, DM, DM,…..about those recipes…..
Sounds delightful. Always amuses me to hear you say you’d rather be any other place than in the kitchen and I always wonder what’s at the root of that — is it the image of being ‘a woman in the kitchen’? Or is it the space itself? Or just feeling like you don’t know what you think you should? Or? You know me though – kitchen = good. Don’t want it to ‘be expected’ of me, for sure (ala ‘woman in the kitchen’), but when I do it, the gratitude it engenders is one of its charms. I actually love it as a room in my house (the space). And then there is that ‘starting is the hardest part’ and, like any activity, the more you do it, the more there is to see in it – and hopefully enjoy. Anyway, that is, perhaps, besides the point.
Pancetta — is bascially Italian bacon. A little less salty than ours perhaps with a good fat/meat ratio (and you’ll usually see, that unlike ours, it’s fairly consistent from package to package), sliced thin and mostly when I’ve seen it, shaped into a circle. Trader Joe (hmmmm) carries it (usually arround the proscioutto). Whole Foods. If you have an Italian butcher around, they would be a good source. And, I think, you might find it a larger (suburban) Jewel too, but where? mm. would have to ask. That said, our good American bacon sounds great for this recipe (the pancetta just brings the salt down some, imo).
Only other thing is that I’m crazy for fresh parmesean. Yeah yeah have used the Kraft in my time and it’ll do. But really there is nothing like fresh grate Parmeganio-Reggiano.
I’m glad you’re cooking. It’s added fun to my world. When’s dinner? 🙂
Hamburgers tonight! Ok, I am going to buy some of that fresh parmesan…I promised Alexis my friend and proof reader that I would never used canned again! Thanks for the description of Pancetta…something tells me Oscar Meyer is more my style…
Isabel I love it when you drop by Odd. Thanks!!
oh. and. those photos are AMAZING!!! Maybe a sideline in Food photography?
Thanks Isabel. I don’t like to cook and I’m not a kitchen witch..but I do love to take pictures and write so maybe the twain shall meet!
Spaghetti Carbonara- Leahy style
A beaten raw egg is the secret of this delicate spaghetti dish. The egg coats the pasta ( high protein) and causes the bits of sausage, prosciutto and cheese to cling evenly.
1/ 4 pound of Italian Sausage
1 med onion chopped
2 crushed or chopped garlic
8oz Portobello mushroom is optional ( Jim like the mushroom)
¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto (or cooked ham, pancetta or bacon ) I use Imported prosciutto.
2 Tabl Butter ( I use imported virgin pressed olive oil)
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
3 eggs well beaten
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
½ pound of spaghetti
Additional grated Parmesan
This takes 12 minutes to prepare. Fast delicious meal
Remove casings from sausages and crumble meat. Finely chop prosciutto. In a wide frying pan over medium-low heat add oil and sauté sausage, onion, mushroom and prosciutto.
Prepare the chopped Italian Parsley
3 beaten eggs in separate bowl.
½ cup Parmesan cheese and Pepper
Cook spaghetti in a large kettle of boiling water until aldente.
Drain well and add to hot meat mixture. Add butter ( again I use olive oil) parsley to spaghetti mixture. Mix quickly to blend. At once pour in eggs and quickly lift and mix spaghetti to coat well with egg. Sprinkle in the ½ cup cheese and a dash of pepper. Mix again. Serve with additional cheese.
I have a very large frying pan and if you don’t mix all this in a very large bowl and make sure the pasta is very hot when you pour the egg mixture onto it.
Sounds wonderful. I will make this when Cole comes back from New Mexico.
I think your recipie for pasta, bacon and leeks sound delicious! My problem is the butter and cream. I am sure it is delicious however not the best for waist line. So I try to cut back with using olive oil instead of butter. Raw egg instead of cream. You could also add a green vegetable to the dish like broccoli, or asparagus, zucchini etc.. I like to eat vegetables whenever I can. They would taste wonderful with this meal and add color. Hey if you want to add color try a little sun dried tomato.
Will try it with the Olive Oil. Have lots of great Olive Oils. I did not know you could use raw egg instead of cream, and I love the idea of sun dried tomato! Cole and put this on the make again list, so I will be use some of these suggestions the second time around!
Penne with Argitoni ( Broccoli )
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups steamed broccoli, coarsley chopped
1 c chicken stock
1/2 cup of grated Romano Cheese
1 lb penne or bow tie pasta
Heat olive oil in saute pan over med heat. Add garlic and cook 2 min until frgrant. Add broccoli and saute 1 minute. Add stock and raise heat to high and cook until liquid is all evaporated, strring occasionally. Bring 6 quartz of water to a boil. Add pasta, cook until al dente; drain. Toss pasta with broccoli sauce, season with black pepper to taste. Add Romano or parmesian cheese. Toss and add more when serving. Makes 4 servings.
This is very easy and inexpensive and can be prepared in under 15 minutes from start to finish. Easy meal and great for kids and busy mom’s on school nights.
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