Friday, April 8, 2011

Leek Carbonara

I absolutely love pasta...there is no denying it, and I would quite happily eat it several times a week (and normally do!). Actually I could probably eat pasta everyday – that I don't much as I would like to! Normally my favourite pasta dish is tomato based but every now and then I enjoy a cream based sauce – especially when I get some beautiful fresh organic eggs that are just begging to be turned into a delicious Carbonara!

A classic carbonara is made using cream, eggs, bacon and Parmesan. This version is pretty much that with the addition of some silky leeks added to it which I love. If you prefer however, you can miss out the leeks and make a classic carbonara sauce. This pasta dish takes as long to make as it takes to cook the pasta so it really is perfect fast food, ideal for a quick, filling and delicious meal.

400g spaghetti
Drizzle of olive oil
6 slices of streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (or snipped with kitchen scissors)
2 leeks, cleaned & finely sliced
4 large eggs yolks, the best quality you can get
125ml double or whipping cream
55g/ 2oz Parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pan of boiling, salted water to a boil then add the spaghetti.

Heat a frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot add the bacon and cook until just turning crispy. If there is a lot of fat you can remove some but make sure you leave enough to saute the leeks in and coat the pasta with. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the leeks have softened.

In a small bowl add the egg yolks and cream and whisk together with ¾ of the Parmesan cheese, a good pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

When the pasta is ready reserve a good cupful of the cooking water then drain the rest. Add the spaghetti to the frying pan with the bacon and leeks and toss well. For the next part you need to be ready to go – have your serving dishes ready and get everyone to the table as it literally takes no time at all and you want to serve it while still hot! Take the pasta off the heat then quickly stir through the egg and cream mixture – you want to work fast so that the eggs don't scramble. Add a little of the reserved cooking water to the pasta to thin the sauce out a little and keep stirring so every strand of pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and stir until melted. Taste to check the seasoning and if it's still a little to thick add a little extra water. Serve at once and enjoy a beautiful, silky carbonara!


  1. I love this idea...looks amazing!

  2. I love love love the addition of leeks to this dish.

  3. I'm totally with you and I love spring leeks. Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. Thank you all! It's so nice with the leeks. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a go : )

  5. I could eat pasta every night too, love the stuff.

    This version of carbonara sounds and looks amazing. I am definitely book-marking this one to try!


  6. Thanks Maria! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do : )

  7. Spaghetti alla carbonara is one of my all-time comfort foods. It is for the whole family. I adore leeks as well so I can only imagine how wonderful it would be with this addition. Many thanks!

  8. I've been meaning to comment on this recipe for literally weeks, and it's been so busy I've hardly had the time to keep up... Love it, love it, love it! The first time Adam took me to Italy he spoke of carbonara in almost mystical tones, and he was right, of course, it was delicious, but I love the addition of the leeks, one of my favorite ingredients. Can't wait to make this one! Thanks!


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