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Under 30 Minutes

Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon

This dish transforms simple ingredients like bacon, eggs, and cheese into something that is absolutely irresistible.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon

Source: Everyday Food, November 2011


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 leeks (white and light-green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound short pasta, such as campanelle or orecchiette
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup), plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped


  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. 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. 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.

Reviews (6)

  • Breadcrumb 26 Feb, 2014

    Can someone reassure me that the recipe wants me to add the pasta to the raw egg mixture?

  • kattyface 4 Jun, 2013

    This recipe is wonderful. I make it with gemelli pasta, because the small spirals are so chewy! Even better the next day - if there are leftovers!

  • wandawoman 19 Mar, 2013

    This is one of my favorite recipes, so simple and easy to make. It's a definite keeper. I like the addition of frozen peas. The variation I made last night was steaming some fresh asparagus, chopping it up into smaller pieces and added to the pasta at the last minute. So yummy!

  • MalibuAlligator 18 Aug, 2012

    also used spaghetti rather than a shorter pasta. Delish!

  • MalibuAlligator 18 Aug, 2012

    delicious quick recipe. the leeks & lemon add a lot of flavor.
    i added frozen peas for color, used both shaved parmesan & grated.

  • renecj 7 Dec, 2011

    This is a delicious and easy recipe. The leeks and lemon really elevated this carbonara recipe to the next level. My family literally licked the plates.

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