Pasta Carbonara with Ham, Lemon, and Leeks

I love pasta carbonara (I love almost anything with eggs), but I was sure that this dish’s egg sauce would gross David out. Surprise, he loved it! I guess lots of ham is a powerful thing. The leeks and lemon also add a very unique flavor that differentiates this dish from your typical carbonara.

To make this pasta, start by cooking 3/4 pound of orecchiette or the pasta of your choice al dente. While it cooks, dice 6 or more slices of ham or bacon, and crisp them up in a pan. I had some Honey Baked Ham left over from my split pea soup, so I used that. Remove the ham from the pan, and, with 2 tablespoons of rendered fat or olive oil in the pan, brown 4 sliced leeks. I used cut and frozen leeks, which makes the prep process much easier (no chance of getting leek sand in the food!). Season the leeks with salt and pepper.

While the leeks are browning, whisk together 2 eggs in a large bowl. Add in 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Whisk 1/4 cup of pasta water into the mixture. The water will temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling when you add the hot pasta.

Add your drained pasta, crisped ham, and browned leeks to the bowl. Stir everything together well so that the pasta gets coated in the egg mixture. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Serve it topped with more shredded parmesan. I absolutely loved getting to eat the leftovers for lunch. Delish.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.

Shopping list:

  • Short pasta- 3/4 pound
  • Ham or bacon- 6 slices
  • Leeks- 4
  • Eggs- 2
  • Parmesan cheese- 1/2 cup grated
  • Lemon- 1
  • Salt and pepper
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