Creamy Fettuccine with Leeks and Bacon

June 18, 2013

Pasta is one of my favorite foods because it’s so versatile. It can be homey, elegant, light, rich; served with meat, vegetables, in soups, in casseroles… not to mention all the different shapes and sizes! Bon Appetit’s February 2013 issue featured several delicious-sounding pasta recipes, and I’ve been trying them out as I have time. I had picked up some leeks at the market without an idea of what to use them for, and this recipe looked like it would be fairly quick and easy (plus I had the rest of the ingredients on hand already).

I really liked the way this creamy sauce turned out – it was rich but not overly so, and the flavor of the leeks really shone alongside the bacon. The original recipe called for pappardelle, which is like a super-wide fettuccine, but that’s not something I usually keep stocked in my pantry. Fettuccine made a fine substitute even if it didn’t give exactly the same visual effect.

This recipe definitely worked great for a weeknight dish since it only took about 30 minutes from start to finish. As with many of the quicker pasta recipes I’ve written about so far, it’s a good idea to start the water boiling before you do anything else, because by the time the water comes to a boil and the pasta is cooked, your sauce will probably be finished. Enjoy!

Creamy fettuccine with leeks and bacon

Serves 6


  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4  slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2  medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4  cup heavy cream
  • 2  teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1  pound fettuccine or pappardelle
  • 1  cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes. Add leeks and season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add cream, thyme, and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  3. 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. Serve immediately.

One comment

  1. […] of meal. Sunday morning we made oatmeal for breakfast (no apple topping though), we whipped up some fettuccine for lunch, and then ended the day with vegetable potpie. Still more than what I’d make on a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: