CLASSIC pasta linguine with pancetta and leeks








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This is a fairly simple linguine variation, with excellent taste -- lemon, pancetta and leeks.

for the sauce:

  • one-half pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into quarter-inch strips
  • zest of one lemon
  • two large leeks (see below)
  • one-quarter pound pancetta or slab bacon (see below)
  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • two tablespoons grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound linguine

Use the white and pale green parts of the leek only. Cut leeks in half the long way. Then very thinly slice the half circles.

Cut the pancetta or bacon into thin -- one-eighth inch -- matchsticks

In a saute pan, cook the pancetta in two tablespoons of oil until just starting to get crispp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

If you want to go all out, keep two tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan for the next step. Otherwise, wipe out the pan and add two more tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the garlic and about one minute later add the leeks and the lemon zest. Cook over a medium low heat until the leaks are very soft. Add the pancetta, a teaspoon of salt, some freshly ground pepper, and stir. Set aside.

Bring 4-5 quarts of water of a raging boil. Add a couple teaspoons salt. Put in the pasta, stirring well to get it mixed around in the water. Cook the pasta to al  dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta liquid. Drain.

 Add the pasta to the re-heated sauce. Mix well. Add some of the reserved liquid to keep it moist if needed. Add the parmesan and parsley, salt to taste, and pepper, and stir. Cover and turn up the heat for one minute to get steaming hot. And serve.


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