Orecchiette Carbonara

Now, I love my Linguine Carbonara recipe…but when it comes to cheesy pastas, I’m extremely open to suggestion.

This version, based on a recipe spotted on Bella Eats (via Hay Girl Hay), contains pasta shaped like tiny ears (always good) and leeks (ditto), so: tried it, liked it, here you go! (I made a few minor changes to the recipe to suit my tastes; if you prefer, you can check out the original here.)

What you need:

1 box orecchiette (or dried pasta of choice)

8 slices thick, good-quality bacon

2 leeks (white and light green parts only), washed, halved and sliced into 1/3″ thick pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pouch steam-in-bag baby peas

3 egg yolks (at room temperature)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiana (plus more for sprinkling)

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

What you do:

1. Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until crispy (leave the fat in the pan). Drain the bacon on paper towels, then crumble into smallish pieces.

2. In the same frying pan, cook the leeks and garlic until tender (about 6 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water and microwave your steam-in-bag peas.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and parmigiana. Add just a splash of the pasta water (reserve a little more on the side in case you need to loosen the sauce later).

5. When the pasta is done, toss it into the skillet with the leeks and heat the mixture on low until the leeks just begin to sizzle.

6. Remove the skillet from the heat and toss in the crumbled bacon and the egg/cream/cheese mixture. Continue tossing for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens – the point is to get the raw eggs to no longer be raw, but not to overcook so that you end up with dry pasta. If necessary, you can add a little of the pasta water that you reserved earlier to loosen the sauce.

7. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle over extra parmigiana just before serving.

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