This bacon and leek pasta recipe comes together fast and uses a handful of everyday ingredients. Great for busy weeknights!
I find leeks to be underrated. They're likely most popular in Potato Leek Soup, but you don't really see them in pasta dishes as prominently as soups. They have a sort of buttery and mild oniony taste that isn't overpowering. I love the bacon and leek combo in this quick and easy pasta recipe.
How to make leek and bacon pasta:
This recipe is super simple to make. You start by frying up some bacon, then you take it out of the skillet and sauté the leeks in the remaining bacon grease until they're softened. Then, you add in the chicken broth (or try dry white wine) and cook it until it's reduced. It's then time to add a splash of the hot pasta water, drain the pasta, and add in the parmesan cheese and cooked bacon. It's all tossed together until the cheese melts and everything is nicely coated. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
This recipe makes two fairly large or four more reasonably sized portions. If you're planning on serving four, I recommend serving this with an appetizer/salad/slice of garlic bread to ensure no one is left hungry.
Recipe notes & tips:
- I highly recommend grating your own parmesan cheese. It makes a huge difference (in taste and how it melts), especially when it's one of only a few ingredients in a recipe. I keep a wedge in my fridge at all times, and it's easy to grate with my Microplane.
- I used thick-cut bacon. I recommend using a fatty bacon (vs. something leaner like turkey bacon) for this recipe because the bacon fat helps coat the pasta (it's an integral part of the sauce).
- I like to use cooking tongs to toss the pasta.
- If you wanted to, you could add in a small amount of cream to the sauce just prior to tossing the pasta. This isn't a really a "saucy" kinda pasta.
- Feel free to swap the spaghetti with a different kind of pasta. Bucatini or linguine would work well.
- Intimidated by leeks? Check out my How to Prepare Leeks Guide.
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Will you give this bacon and leek pasta a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Bacon and Leek Pasta
- 2 small-to-medium leeks chopped
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pepper to taste
- To prep the leeks: discard the top dark green portion of the leeks, keeping the bulbs. Slice the bulbs into rings. Add leeks to a colander and rinse them throughly (use your hands to dislodge any stubborn dirt - it may be hidden).
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces (I find this easiest using kitchen shears) and cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook the leeks for about 3-4 minutes, or until softened (a bit of light browning is ok too - adds more flavor).
- Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the broth and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced by half (and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan).
- Prior to draining the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and add it to the skillet, along with the parmesan cheese and the bacon. Turn the heat off and add the drained pasta to the skillet and keep tossing it all together until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens up a bit and coats the pasta. I like to add some freshly cracked pepper (add salt if needed, but I found it plenty salty). Serve immediately.
- This recipe serves 2-4 depending on how much people eat/how much sauce you want each portion to have/what it's served with.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.