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Orecchiette Carbonara with Leeks

10 Dec

Yet again, the Farm Fresh to You box motivated me to make something different; we received two leeks that I needed to use somehow. This recipe fit the bill. I had never made a pasta sauce with eggs that cook from the heat of the pasta before; it turned our really nicely, and I love the flavor of leeks (maybe it’s my Welsh heritage). I really dislike cooking dried orecchiette though – it seems like some always nest together and don’t cook properly. Maybe fresh works better.

Ingredients

4 applewood-smoked bacon slices, diced
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/3-inch pieces
10 ounces orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) or small shells
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving [I used Asiago]
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preparation

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet if necessary. Add leeks and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup Parmesan in medium bowl to blend; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta to leeks in skillet and stir to heat. Remove skillet from heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta and stir until sauce is just creamy and eggs are no longer raw, about 2 minutes. (Return skillet to very low heat if egg mixture is runny; do not overcook or eggs will curdle.) Add some of remaining 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid to pasta if needed to moisten. Stir in bacon and parsley. Serve pasta, passing additional cheese separately.

–Recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine.

Finished pasta:

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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