This is a shameless copycat of Pioneer Woman’s pasta, trimmed down to serve two and with slightly less cream. I’m posting it because a) it’s delicious, b) it feels fancy, and c) it’s pretty cheap and easy to make, especially for two. Also because a friend asked me to. You’re welcome.

I didn’t know about leeks until this dish, and now I think I could eat them every day. In case you didn’t know about leeks either, here are some notes:

Leeks are delicious. They’re in the onion family, but their flavor is very light and fresh. They tend to have lots of sand between their leaves, so you wants to rinse them very well, but the extra trouble is worth it. And they don’t make you cry when you slice them! You can use them essentially anywhere you would use an onion, or you can let them shine, like in this dish. They’re also a common ingredient in potato soup; leeks are often paired with potatoes or bacon or both.

Leek and Bacon Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 2

You will need:
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 slices bacon, cut into small strips
2 leeks
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. cream or half-and-half
1/2 lb. penne pasta
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Start a pot of water boiling and prepare pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add bacon and cook until browned. Remove bacon from pan, leaving grease behind.

Meanwhile, wash the leeks by removing their outer leaves, slicing off the roots, and slicing the leeks into 1/2″ coins from the white part of the vegetable to the first inch or so of the green part. Rinse these coins well, and pat dry. Add the leeks to the pan (this is why you want to dry them– it avoids starting a grease fire) and cook until tender. They will start to come apart into ribbons. Do not be alarmed. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add pasta and reserved bacon to pan, and stir to combine. Add cream, stir again. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese. Leftovers also keep well and heat up quite nicely the next day.

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