Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of you.
In the current state of the world, we are being forced to stay inside and “self quarantine”. In MY world, however, that means “eat, cook, and eat what you cook”.
Since there’s a lot of pasta in my cabinet right now, I decided to try some recipes out. I ventured out to the grocery store and stumbled upon some Peter Luger’s thick cut bacon. That was the inspiration for the dish! And thanks to that meme that’s been circling, I’ll shut up now and get to the recipe!
FOR THE RECORD, I don’t ramble for 10 paragraphs before a recipe anyway, but I know a lot of bloggers who do. STILL. Now I’m even more self-conscious.
Anyway, enjoy! This is a rich dish so I’d serve with a very simple salad of light greens, like frisee or arugula with a lemony vinaigrette. Something with acidity will really cut through the sharpness of ALLLLL THAT CHEESE.
Fettucine with Bacon, Leeks, and Cream
- 5 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, washed and sliced on the bias, and halved (white and pale green parts only)
- Kosher salt (I didn’t measure, but prob 1/2 tsp)
- Pinch of white pepper (optional)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
- 1 lb fettucine
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until starting to crisp, about 6-8 mins. There was a lot of fat on the bacon I used, so if yours is similar, don’t worry if it doesn’t brown quickly!
- Add leeks and season with a bit of Kosher salt and white pepper. Cook for another 5-6 minutes until leeks begin to brown, don’t let them burn!
- Add cream, 1/2 cup of water, and thyme. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened. You can add more water if the sauce gets too thick as it continues to cook.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (the box of pasta should let you know the correct cooking times, usually 8-9 minutes). Drain the pasta and SAVE A FEW CUPS OF PASTA WATER FOR THE SAUCE. That’s the key to a good pasta is the starchy pasta water.
- Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese to the cream/thyme mixture. Add 1 cup of pasta water and stir together until the pasta is well coated. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, if you need to, add more pasta water until the sauce is thicker.