“I shouldn’t be a food blogger and be afraid of ingredients!” I said to myself in the mirror for the 7th time today, “you should not be afraid of a vegetable. That is just dumb.” I marched myself into the kitchen where this long, light green, thing sat on my counter. I looked at it. Studied it. Yelled at it. “You will NOT defeat me!” I then picked up my pairing knife and went to town. That leek never had a chance.
There are a few things in my life that I have been scared – ok, afraid – to cook with. Almond flour, fennel, shallots, Meyer lemons, beets, and lastly, leeks. What the crap is a leek? Is it an onion? Is it a form of garlic? What is a leek? Oh no, and how do I clean a leek?!
Thankfully, this youtube video on how to clean a leek calmed me down. When I cooked the leek, I was surprised by it’s really mild onionish like flavor. I was proud. I had cooked leeks. I had even gone as far as to put the leek into a dish I had always wanted to cook, pasta carbonara! I feel like Superwoman, defeating her kryptonite. What should I defeat next?
From: Alexandra’s Kitchen
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 leeks (white and light-green parts only) thinly sliced
- 3/4 pound short pasta
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup 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 spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add leeks to skillet, 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.