Pasta with pancetta, mushrooms and leeks

An easy, flavourful one-pot meal!

This hearty and satisfying pasta dish comes together in just one pot making for easy assembly plus easy cleanup too. The flavourful sauce draws in all the great elements from the sauteed vegetables and ties things up beautifully with a creamy richness. As always, feel free to customize as you wish with gluten-free pasta and/or your favourite dairy-free butter, cream cheese and Parmesan alternatives. I’ve also provided directions for using vegetable bacon should you wish a vegan meal. For a few other great one-pot pasta meal, be sure to check out my Philly cheesesteak pasta, chicken parmesan pasta casserole and this scrumptious pasta with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (225 g) chopped pancetta or bacon (or vegetable ‘bacon’)
  • 1 pound (454 g) cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only), about 1 1 /2 cups/375 g)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (8 g) kosher salt, divided
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 3 cups (375 g) dried short pasta (I used bowties)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup (166 mL) dry white wine
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water (plus more, as needed)
  • 1/2 cup (91 g) cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons (4 g) chopped fresh basil and/or parsley

Method

  • Sauté pancetta in a very large saucepan (big enough to hold the vegetables, pasta and cooking liquid) over medium heat, until crispy. Remove cooked pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  • Note: if using vegetable bacon, skip the step above and simply add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan prior to proceeding with cooking the mushrooms.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms to the same pan; cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have stopped releasing moisture and beginning to get crispy around the edges.
  • Add butter, stirring until melted. Add leeks, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until leeks are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in pasta, broth, wine and water plus remaining salt. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Do not cover pan. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just barely at the al dente (tender-firm) stage. Add additional water, 1/4 cup (60 mL) at a time as needed to ensure there is enough liquid in the pot to form a sauce when the pasta is cooked.
  • Remove pan from heat. Scatter cream cheese over pasta and stir gently until it is evenly distributed. Divide pasta evenly among shallow bowls, and serve topped with crispy pancetta (or vegetable ‘bacon’), Parmesan and chopped herbs.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

4 thoughts

    1. I agree that this is a favoured combination. The pasta recipe was inspired by a ‘clean out the fridge’ soup I often make with mushrooms and leeks!

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