Spaghetti with Fantasy Sauce

June 19, 2015
5 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A date-worthy pasta recipe made with cream, white wine, butter, bacon, and plenty of vegetables.

Adapted from the back of the De Cecco pasta box. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 10 ounces thin dried spaghetti, or other thin pasta
  • 3 ounces bacon (about 3 strips)
  • 3 leeks
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook your bacon until it begins to brown. Add the chopped leeks, onions, spinach, and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the spinach wilts and vegetables soften.
  3. Add the white wine to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the wine reduces by about half.
  4. Add the cream and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve topped with the grated Parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dariusz
  • Pamela Turner
    Pamela Turner
  • Christopher Crellin
    Christopher Crellin
  • Leandra
  • Yvette

55 Reviews

Dariusz October 25, 2023
The overall idea is good, but it needs some honing. The dish is onion-y delicious, but I would add some ingredients to add some depth in taste and looks. I'd reduce leeks from 3 to 2, double the bacon, add some garlic and cherry tomatoes. A few greens like arugula would also bump up the liveliness of this dish.
epicurean July 28, 2016
This was great. Used a full box of pasta and just doubled my wine/cream. Also added 5 strips of bacon and a full box of organic spinach. A handful would have been barely noticeable as even the full box seemed to disappear. (which I added at the very end of cooking sauce). I tossed my hot pasta with 1/2 the cheese first, then added sauce for a better 'stick' factor. Don't be afraid of the amount of leek/onions. They cook down quite a bit. Next time, I may add some cherry tomatoes. 'BLT' pasta.
Pamela T. July 26, 2016
We already had cooked spaghetti in the fridge and wanted to use it to create dinner and hit on this. "Hit" is an apropos word! Loved it... We did use pancetta instead of bacon because we had it in the fridge. This is one to repeat. (BTW, had our best laugh of the week on fisher6188's comment asking "what is leftover wine". I'll be smirking to myself about that at work tomorrow :-)
cosmiccook July 23, 2016
Couple of observations first-seemed like a LOT of onions. You may wish to add CHOPPED leeks.
I cut way back on the leeks as we had 3 oz. of Bucatini and 3 of Angel. cut back on the onions 1 leek only added garlic, additional spices artichoke, pancetta, and shrimp. I cook my pasta per Serious Lab's recommendation and added some pasta water at the end. It's okay but I'm not a big pasta fan anyway
Jeff A. December 18, 2020
Not a pasta fan? Something wrong with you?
S July 23, 2016
What can I use instead of bacon.I don't eat meat
epicurean July 27, 2016
oven roasted mushrooms can often take the place of bacon. I prefer shiitake.
juliej July 22, 2016
Looks yummy, but why not write a recipe that calls for the entire box of pasta? Who measures out 10 oz of pasta?!
Brenda July 22, 2016
Thanks Richard. I shall try that :-)
Richard July 22, 2016
For Brenda-
Most liquor stores sell alcohol free wine similar to Chennai Blanc. Works well in most recipes and is alcohol free. The best comes from Michigan.
Chef Dick
Becky July 22, 2016
Could you use garlic or something else instead of leeks and onion? Thanks.
Alexa July 8, 2016
Made this last night - it was a hit! I doubled the recipe and added frozen green peas and some roasted grape tomatoes that were on hand. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. As suggested by Christopher, I used bucatini and it was perfect!
Christopher C. June 13, 2016
My $0.02 for what it's worth. We used bucatini since I thought it would hold up to the sauce better and I was absolutely right. Bucatini was the perfect pasta for this sauce. Also I used 1 lb of pasta so I made more sauce accordingly. I should have added more black pepper than I thought I needed. The wine I used was Chenin Blanc which was perfect for this as well. Now to the bacon...this needed more bacon and I used more according to the amount of sauce I was making. That being said, I used the original amount of leeks, onions and spinach (def add this at the end of the veggie sauté) and it was the perfect ratio to the increased amount of sauce. In all, good flavors and a great recipe!
Tamsin June 7, 2016
Worked really well! I added some thinly sliced zucchini and some thyme with the veg and a small scrap of lemon zest at the end. Divine!
Leandra May 9, 2016
hands down one of the best things to ever come out of my kitchen. Had the leftovers 2 nights later and was even better. I had 1% milk in the house so I used that instead of cream and used a wee bit of cornstarch to thicken, plus added about 1/2 cup fresh grated parm into the sauce and it came out great. For the leftovers, I cooked another 2 slices of bacon to crumble on top and loved having the crisp texture -- next time I will put half in right away and leave half for a garnish. cannot wait to make this again!
Posie (. May 9, 2016
LOVE it, so glad it was a hit!
S July 23, 2016
What can I use instead of bacon.I don't eat meat but want to try this recipe
S July 23, 2016
What can I use instead of bacon.I don't eat meat but want to try this recipe
Sharon I. January 16, 2018
How about some meaty portobello mushrooms, or baby bellas? They're pretty hefty. . .
Yvette March 30, 2016
It was nice but I will definitely use fewer leeks next time.
Brenda January 20, 2016
Sounds like a great recipe . . . I shall try it for sure.
Can you suggest an alternative for the white wine as we don't drink alcohol?
Posie (. January 21, 2016
Hm, tricky. You can't really replicate the flavor but the best substitute would be chicken or vegetable stock I think!
Brenda January 21, 2016
Thanks Posie. Do you think white grape juice would work as well?
Posie (. January 21, 2016
Honestly I think that would be too sweet.
Brenda January 21, 2016
O'kay . . . that's good to know. One suggestion I found on the internet was "For extra flavor, try mixing a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of stock" What are your thoughts re. that suggestion?
Posie (. January 21, 2016
You could certainly try it but I'd be wary because of the cream. Honestly there is so much flavor already with the bacon and butter and leeks that I think you'd be just fine using only stock. Good luck!
Christine B. July 22, 2016
What about verjuice? You'd get the sharp grape flavour without the alcohol.
Christine B. July 22, 2016
Oh, and not the sweetness of sweet grape juice.
Jeff A. December 18, 2020
Cooking isn't drinking. Don't drink wine? That's crazy!
Susie F. January 17, 2016
Instead of pasta, one could spiral zucchini and saute that instead. I am gluten sensitive. Otherwise this looks yummy!
Sarah December 22, 2015
I made a few modifications, and we loved it!! Used a whole pound of bacon, a whole bag of spinach, a whole pound of pasta, and doubled the sauce. (If you use that much bacon though, be sure to drain off some of the fat!)
Karma I. July 30, 2015
Awesome, quick, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner. Love all the suggestions below about additional ingredients. Great way to use left over wine and cream and you can never go wrong with leeks!
Traveler January 21, 2016
What is left over wine?
Dimply D. July 18, 2015
Thanks! We really enjoyed this. Added some zucchini and extra bacon. Accidentally dumped in a whole pound of pasta so it needed more sauce, but that was my fault. A great adaptable recipe - I'll make this and it's variations often.
Dimply D. July 18, 2015
Oh and I think an entire bag of spinach would be appropriate. Dry vermouth was a great sub for the white wine. Thanks again!
Christina July 15, 2015
This was absolutely amazing as written. Having said that, I did make some modifications. I doubled the bacon and the heavy cream; added 2-3 cloves of garlic; 15-20 halved red and yellow grape tomatoes (10-15 cherry tomatoes); whole bag of baby spinach; 15 grates of fresh nutmeg; 1/2 c. Parmesan; cut way back on salt. It's incredibly rich, so just a little with a salad or some roasted brussels sprouts makes an unbelievably great meal.