Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon

Let’s get this straight; carbonara does not have heavy cream in it! Its creaminess comes from the use of eggs and grated cheese; capisce? I’ve had carbonara that sits like a bowling ball in your stomach, but the real stuff shouldn’t do that. The addition of lemon and leeks to this traditional dish imparts it with the flavors of spring.

Don’t be afraid of leeks if you haven’t cooked with them before, just beware that they are dirty. After you chop the leeks, soak them in cold water for several minutes to release any stubborn dirt stuck within their layers. The other nice thing about leeks is that they are often one of the first vegetables to return to farmers markets in the spring because they can overwinter, which just means they can survive in the fields, even under snow, and be ready for an early harvest. How’s that for a tough vegetable!