Sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta to get you through. Tomorrow we are supposed to be experiencing a “Snowpacalypse” in the Carolinas, and I am seriously nervous. I hate being closed up in the house for too long, and I HATE the thought of losing power and sitting in the dark and freezing. To calm myself down, I made a big pot of creamy pasta. It worked, I’m cool as a cuke now. Bring it on, wretched snowstorm.
coarse salt and pepper
6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
4 leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced ( white and light-green parts only)
3/4 lb short pasta, such as campanelle (I used gemelli and more like 1/2 lb.) or 3/4 lb orecchiette ( I used gemelli and more like 1/2 lb.)
2 large eggs
1/2 ounce parmesan cheese, grated ( 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. (I did not pour off any fat… it looked too good to discard.) Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until leeks are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
2. Add pasta to pot and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk 1/4 cup pasta water into egg mixture.
3. Drain pasta and immediately add to egg mixture, along with bacon, leeks, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle with more cheese if desired and serve immediately.