Crème Fraîche Carbonara is a great way to fake your way to a carbonara - with bacon and parmesan cheese this is just as tasty as the original, but easier to make and with more staple-friendly ingredients.
Start by getting your pasta water going and cook the pasta al dente according to package instruction, and then drain almost all of the water. Make sure to save some of the pasta water for use in the sauce. While the pasta is cooking, you can make the sauce.
Place diced or sliced bacon in a cold frying pan over medium high heat and cook for about 5 minutes until bacon looks cooked, mixing often.
Lower the heat to medium and add in the chopped leeks. Mix and cook for 3 minutes.
The pasta should now be done, so add the crème fraîche and pasta cooking water to the bacon and leeks. Mix well and then add in the shredded parmesan and ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the pasta and mix well.
To serve, bring the pan from the heat and top with shredded parmesan and some ground black pepper.
Chop the leek before you rinse it to make sure to remove all that earth
Placing the bacon in a cold pan allows it to release a lot of fat while heating up and this way you don't need to add any extra fat to cook in
Fresh parmesan is amazing for this recipe but in a pinch you can skip it
Crème fraîche makes this pasta creamy while adding some acidity but you can also switch it in part or fully for your preferred type of cream
Don't add salt out of old habit - both the bacon and the parmesan are salty so odds are you won't need it
What can I use instead of crème fraîche? Instead of crème fraîche you can use cream - light, full fat or half n half.Do I have to use parmesan? No! You can use pecorino instead, or just skip it.