Pasta, pasta, pasta. I could eat it forever. I really could. It’s so comforting and easy to work with, and the sauce possibilities are just endless. Total amazeness.
For most of us, a home-made pasta lunch is usually only possible on the weekends. But in truth, that’s the best time for it as you’re then able to indulge yourself in a post-pasta snoozefest. Lovely.
This is a super quick and startlingly simple pasta sauce that puts the always delicious leek and bacon/pancetta flavour combination to good use. Perfect for a lazy weekend lunch or a quick and snappy mid-week dinner.
What you need for leek and pancetta pasta sauce for 2
Small-ish knob of butter (I’d say around 20g) or olive oil
1 large leek, well washed and finely chopped
4 rashers of good quality bacon, chopped into small chunks (I used some of Jack McCarthy’s incredible North Cork pancetta)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 generous heaped teaspoon of créme fraiche (try to get Glenisk’s as it’s the best)
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Enough spaghetti (or pasta of your choice) for 2
Parmesan for grating
Start by heating your butter in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. In another saucepan, boil some water with a little olive oil and salt.
Once your butter has melted, you can start frying your leeks for 5 minutes. You can absolutely use oil for this but I think the butter makes the leeks taste so much better.
Your water should be boiled in your second pan. Add your spaghetti and let it cook away as you finish your sauce. Follow the packet instructions, but spaghetti usually takes 9 to 11 minutes.
After five minutes, your leeks will start to soften. Now you can add your bacon and fry, mixing well, for a further five to eight minutes until bacon is browned and leeks are tender.
Add your finely chopped garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Now add your generous tablespoon of créme fraiche and mix everything around. You might want to add about a tablespoon of boiling hot water to give the sauce more creaminess. Or indeed, you could use a glug of double cream if you wanted!
Now you can season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt as the bacon will have released a lot of its own yummy saltiness. Add your squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon) here and give it a quick taste test. Add another squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
Drain you pasta and put it back into its saucepan. Now take your leek and bacon sauce and add it to your pasta. Mix everything so the sauce evenly coats your pasta.
Serve up, making sure both diners get equal amounts of leeks and bacon, and cover the whole lot with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.
UK electronic wizard Bibio’s latest album Mind Bokeh is perfect for lazy afternoon listening, even though it’s dead clever. Follow the link below for a listen to Anything New taken from the new album.