Farfalle with Pancetta and Leeks

Post image for Farfalle with Pancetta and Leeks

by Amy Flanigan on March 15, 2011 · 28 comments

I don’t like wine.


Too abrupt? Should I have eased you into that? I know it’s a tough pill to swallow.

Hello?…You still there?

Never acquired a taste for it. (Unless you count my college years when I could put away a respectable number of wine coolers. But it wasn’t because I liked the taste. And, come on, that’s not really wine anyway.)

Nope. I don’t like wine…in a glass, that is.

I do, however, love it in food. Like a white wine clam sauce or wine reduced in a pasta dish. Yum. (For the record, I also like beer-battered shrimp and rum in Tiramisu.)

I’ve been redeemed, right?

This dish combines white wine, leeks, Parmesan, and salty pancetta – and there is some serious flavor here. Each one of the ingredients shines through, too, which for me and Paul was a great thing. It wasn’t a hit with the kids, though. Poo poo on them.

If you are into wine, check out Pam’s weekend wine reviews over at Sidewalk Shoes. Hopefully she’s still talking to me…

Farfalle with Pancetta and Leeks
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

• 12 ounces Farfalle pasta
• 6 ounces chopped Pancetta
• 3 whole leeks, green ends removed, washed, and sliced thin
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and shavings for garnish (optional)

Set a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions. (Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.)

While the pasta is cooking, sauté the pancetta over medium high heat, until the fat is rendered. Add the leeks and butter and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine and cook for another 1-2 minutes until most of it has evaporated. Turn the heat down to low and add the cream; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan.

Toss with the pasta, adding a little of the pasta water to thin the mixture if needed. Serve into bowls with some Parmesan shavings, optional.

(adapted from Pioneer Woman)

Print this recipeSave this recipe



Leave a Comment

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

lo March 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

You never cease to amaze me, Amy. Yes, I find the fact that you don’t like wine a little unbelievable. But, trust me when I say that probably comes in handy :)

It also amazes me that you seem to know what I have in my fridge at any given moment. This week there are leeks, parmesan, and … well, proscuitto… so you’re almost batting 100% there. I might just have to make a variation of this lovely looking spring pasta dish.


Amy March 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Who doesn’t have leeks, Parmesan, and prosciutto in their refrigerator at all times? ;-) It should be the law!


Orly @yumivore March 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Farfalle is closely associated for me with an Ashkenazic dish- Kasha varnishkes. This looks so tasty! Regarding wine, I’m a big proponent of “to each his own”; taste varies from palette to palette. Like with food, if you’re not introduced to the right wine, it could turn you off easily though. A nice wine should you ever wish to try it again would be a gewürztraminer. It’s got a beautiful bouquet, light and sweet fruit flavors it’s easy to drink and many folks who don’t like wine necessarily build up a taste for it through this varietal. If you can find it (I recommend Thomas Fogarty) give it a try. It’s also quite versatile. Cheers!


Amy March 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I appreciate your knowledge and effort! I’m afraid I am long past being converted, though. If that were the case, my sister would have won a long time ago.


Jenna March 16, 2011 at 10:40 am

Oh, I really really must try this! I love its simplicity . . . the wine . . . the cheese . . . the cream . . . the butter . . . (yep, I’m big into dairy =)
And I do love a nice glass of wine, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. In cooking though, I’ve come to believe it’s essential. The flavor it adds–oh the flavor.
Also, I love your picture of the final dish. For some reason it screams ‘spring’ and ‘good weather.’


Amy March 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

re: dairy…oh, me too. Cheese, cream, butter, yogurt. All staples in my house. And replaced quite often!


Lynda March 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I don’t like wine either-can’t drink it without making a “face”. Of course, my home has a wine cellar! I do know to use good wine when cooking. (I sneak it out of the cellar!)


Amy March 16, 2011 at 8:03 am

I make that face too! Sometimes my sister Jen will give me wine to try, just to see how severe the face will be. I’m a constant source of amusement for her ;-)


5 Star Foodie March 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Wonderful flavors in this delicious pasta dish, love the pancetta here!


Kim March 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

OMGosh they really were Paul’s corks!! You are so funny. Given enough time on a blog, all of our secrets are eventually revealed, aren’t they? You don’t have to drink at all for us to hang with you!
Meanwhile, love the leeks. Love the pancetta. Love pouring wine into a pasta sauce and drinking the rest with dinner.


Amy March 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I know, right? So far, people know I hate being cold, love pie, have a soft spot for doggies, have the best sister, think bacon makes everything better…and now, don’t drink wine. Accepting each others differences – that’s the sign of a true friend!


Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary March 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Pancetta AND leeks. You are killing me! I adore leeks so this recipe is perfect for me! I am so making!!!


Amy March 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I love leeks too. I think they are way underused. Possibly because the site of them is big and scary…and they take up a lot of room in the fridge?


Joanne March 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Let me tell YOU a secret. Even though I am born to two individuals who keep the wine industry ALIVE I don’t like the stuff. I also don’t like beer. I also don’t really like most any alcohol except for coconut rum and Irish car bombs. Sometimes sake bombing is okay. Rarely.

But, like you. It’s more than acceptable in food. Necessary even. I can tell this pasta is a miracle on a plate. And as to the whole picky kids thing…more for you!


Amy March 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I loathe beer. The smell the taste. It’s as bad as cigarette smoke to me. And how’s this for something – Paul’s parents own two bars! They must think I’m a weirdo.


Paul March 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I’ll drink the wine! POW!

I’ll drink pretty much any type of fluid that can double as jet fuel. POWPOW!

This dish is yummy. Pasta and pancetta and all.


lo March 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Whoa. Paul. Do you also have Tiger blood? ;)


Stephanie March 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm


This looks just delicious, Amy. For real. I love pasta combined with wine and cream. It’s like a match made in pasta heaven. And pancetta? Come on now. Actually, this resembles a pasta dish that appears in our house almost monthly.

Cooking with wine is better than drinking it. Just FYI. :)


Amy March 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I know, right? Cream and wine…mmmm. Like peanut butter and chocolate. No wonder we both loved the Parmesan creamed onions – made with wine, of course :D


Dad March 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Looks yummy. Really does. Will have Mom give it a shot when she gets back.

As for the wine, must be hereditary although Mother Goldstein’s “port” with 20% alcohol was pretty good after just two glasses. Don’t laugh. Okay laugh, but a 1948 *can* is currently up for auction for $275. (Google it.)


Amy March 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Not entirely hereditary, considering your other daughter belongs to a wine club. And actual club! Anything is good after two glasses, I suppose. Because you’re numb at that point ;-)


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy March 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

I love wine but rarely drink it. I LOVE to cook with it though so there is always a bottle of white and red around. This looks great! Thanks!


Amy March 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Me too. It’s funny…I’m not a drinker, but my cabinet is well stocked with red/white wine, kaluha, Baileys Irish creme. I do love it reduced down in food and especially in baked goods. Probably because the bitterness disappears.


Jen March 15, 2011 at 10:19 am



Mellissa March 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

What is not to love about pancetta? And I will forgive you for not liking wine since you cook with it and like the flavor at least ;)


Amy March 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Exactly! Pancetta, prosciutto, bacon, ham. I do love the pig.


Melissa March 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

You know I am all over this.

And you know I love you for not liking wine. :D


Amy March 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I wish there was a “like” button here, as on Facebook. If so, I would click it.


Previous post:

Next post: