Penne Carbonara

Serve 4


  • ½ lb bacon (about 7-10 slices)
  • ½ cup half & half
  • ¾ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lb penne pasta (or favorite pasta)
  • 1½ tbsp salt for pasta water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (if needed to sauté vegetables)
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 10 oz mushrooms (buttons or baby bella), sliced thin
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oven to 425º
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay out strips of bacon. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan and set on paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the foil with the bacon fat drippings and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together half & half, Parmesan cheese, a generous amount of pepper and the eggs.  Set aside
  4. Cook pasta according to package instructions in boiling, salted water (about 11 minutes)
  5. Gather up the (now somewhat cooled-off) foil with bacon fat and carefully pour the fat into a large skillet on medium heat
  6. Add mushrooms and leeks into the pan. Add olive oil (if needed) and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often
  7. Drain pasta and pour into the skillet. Immediately add the sauce and toss thoroughly.  Chop bacon into small pieces (Corey uses kitchen sheers) and add.  Note: If you're concerned about ingredients spilling over your skillet, you can drain the pasta, return it to the pot and add the sauce, vegetables and bacon to the pasta pot
  8. Toss to combine and serve with extra shredded or grated Parmesan cheese