Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks

I've never cooked with pancetta before, and, after my experience trying to buy it, I must assume that most people don't use this either.  I had to ask FOUR DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES in my local Stop and Shop where I might find packaged pancetta, and no one had any idea.  It was a fellow shopper who eventually pointed me in the right direction.

This confuses me, though, because it was actually very delicious.  Though perhaps not the healthiest dinner, this was fast to whip up and was a hit.  It's perfect not only for fall, but also for those winter days when you crave something comforting.

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks


  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta, Cooked Al Dente
  • Reserved Pasta Water, If Needed
  • 3 ounces, weight Chopped Pancetta
  • 3 whole Leeks, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ½ cups Dry White Wine
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, Shaved

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Saute chopped pancetta until fat is rendered and it starts to brown. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. When you add the leeks, you can also throw in a pat or two of butter if you want to. This’ll give the dish some scrumptious flavor. I add it after the bacon is browned because I don’t want the butter to brown. After 8 to 10 minutes, pour in wine, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until reduced. Reduce heat to low, then pour in cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Parmesan shavings. Toss in pasta, adding a little pasta water to thin as needed. Serve with Parmesan shavings over the top—delicious!


  1. Mmm, that looks so good! I don't use pancetta often because it's so expensive but I do love the stuff.

  2. I've also had trouble finding pancetta at my local stores. I think it's considered a specialty food item, so unless you're into food network or reading blogs, it may not cross your radar much.

    On the flip side, this looks delicious. I love the bow tie pasta - kicks up the eye candy factor.

  3. I made this and I thought "I died" {a lil' Rachael Zoe}... Holy cow it was SO good!
    I used bacon- Pancetta was non-existent in my neck of the woods!

  4. I haven't made anything with leeks, but my MIL cooks with them and I have enjoyed them. I will be trying this for my own fun.


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