Pasta carbonara with leeks

    25 min

    A fabulously quick egg and bacon pasta favourite with added vegetables to make it super healthy. It's surprising how little pancetta and Parmesan cheese you need to achieve a really deep, rich flavour.

    7 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
    • 85g smoked pancetta
    • 300g tagliatelle
    • 175g frozen petits pois
    • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
    • 50g Parmesan, freshly grated
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil. Add the leeks and cook gently for 3 minutes until just tender. Remove the leeks to a plate using a draining spoon. Preheat the grill to medium.
    2. Place the pancetta on the rack of the grill pan and grill for 2 minutes until beginning to crisp. Remove and break into rough pieces.
    3. Bring the water back to the boil and if necessary, top up with a little more boiling water from the kettle. Drop the pasta into the water and cook for 6 minutes, or according to the pack instructions, until ‘al dente’. Add the peas to the water for the last 3 minutes of the and bring back to the boil. Stir occasionally to make sure that no pasta is sticking to the base of the pan.
    4. Lightly whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche and freshly ground black pepper to season. Drain the pasta and peas and immediately return them to the hot pan. Stir in the egg mixture, which will cook in the heat of the pasta. Then quickly add the pancetta, leeks and parsley and lightly toss everything together.
    5. Sprinkle over the Parmesan and season to taste with more pepper. Serve immediately.


    Replace the pancetta with 85g smoked salmon or smoked lean ham, cut into strips. Neither needs cooking. Just toss into the cooked pasta at step 4.

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    This was a lovely variation on the traditional carbonara recipe. I probably cooked the eggs and créme fraiche a fraction too long at the end so the pasta was a little dry instead of creamy. It still tasted very good (I thought!) and I will definitely cook this again.  -  16 Jul 2017