what i made for dinner :: orecchiette carbonara with leeks

carbonara with leeks
i love pasta carbonara but it's like cholesterol (not to mention, fat) on a plate. i eat it once in a blue moon; and i've never made it myself. however, i just could not resist the orecchiette carbonara with leeks recipe in the april 2008 issue of bon appetit. something about the picture appealed to me :: maybe it was the cute orecchiette pasta, the green of the leeks, the crisp of the bacon ... who knows?

but to make it "healthier" i made a couple of modifications, which must have been successful because everyone ate it, even ian (he's my barometer of how appealing my food is).
  • instead of the orrecchiette i used whole durum wheat chiocciole pasta for two reasons :: 1) i couldn't find the orrecchiette at tj's and what i did find at whole foods cost $6.99 for less than 9 ounces. someone please remind me to stop shopping at whole foods; 2) i'm trying to choose whole wheat over regular pasta.
  • i made more pasta (16 ounces) than the recipe calls for (10 ounces) but kept the amount of carbonara sauce the same. my thinking is that there's less sauce on each piece of pasta so you're not getting as much fat.

i'm sure the original version of the recipe is delightful. it's unfortunate i won't get to taste it! and even the modified version i only ate a cup of. sigh.

[edited 03.23.08 :: this does not reheat well. best to eat it all up the night you make it.]


Hobokener said...

After spending 2 years in the Pasta business, Orecchiette is one of my top 3 favorite pasta shapes. The way the "little ears" catch sauce is really delightful. You should try it sometimes - the traditional recipe for it is from Puglia, and it's with sausage and broccoli rabe with garlic and olive oil. I'd be surprised if you can't find some at Safeway - it's in a lot of mainline grocery around here.

Hobokener said...

Or you could try the Bertolli Frozen Pasta & Sauce version that I helped launch - imported Orecchiette with Broccoli in a garlic and olive oil sauce, ready in 9 minutes. Should be available in the yellow bag in the freezer section for about $5.99.