A Recipe for a Different Kind of Carbonara

A Different Carbonara – Creamy Pappardelle with Leeks & Bacon

The author of this recipe is Sara Jenkins published in the February 2013 issue of Bon Appétit. When I’m looking at new pasta recipes (a favorite carb), I always stop at ones that include bacon. I love bacon – not a secret among my friends! This is a little different because leeks are added to provide sweetness to offset the salt of the bacon. It’s a very simple dish to make for a great impromptu get-together with friends.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add leeks and season with salt.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add cream, thyme, and 1/2 cup water.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  8. Add pasta, Parmesan, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.




One thought on “A Recipe for a Different Kind of Carbonara”

  1. Jo Anna Hall

    Ido a turkey bacon carbonara with lots of Caramelized onions and red chili flakes that even ZACK loves
    Parmesan cheese 3/4 cup

    6 large onions
    Olive oil
    Red chili flakes
    11/2 -2 packages of turkey bacon
    1-1/2 packet of linguini
    5-6egg yellows
    Sauté onions w red chilie flakes

    Add turkey bacon sauté till golden and crispy

    Cook pasta w salt add pasta water into onion bacon mix
    Drain al dente pasta
    Add egg yolks stirring in pot add onion bacon mixture. Add Parmesan cheese

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