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Creamy Pancetta, Leek and Pea Macaroni & Cheese

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My favorite pasta combination turned into a creamy mac-n-cheese!
Course Mains & Entrees
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, fontina, leeks, macaroni, mozzarella, pancetta, parmesan, pasta, peas
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 653
Author Laurie McNamara


  • 12 ounce macaroni noodles
  • 5 ounces pancetta diced small
  • 1 leek quartered and sliced, light green part only
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup half & half see notes
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • cup fontina cheese freshly grated
  • cup mozzarella cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup green peas
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper


  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Season with Kosher salt and cook the pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile I start the cheesy sauce. If the noodles are done before the sauce, drain into a colander and keep tossing the pasta every so often as the sauce finishes so it doesn't form a huge pasta clump.
  • Meanwhile; in a cold skillet add the diced pancetta and heat over medium, stirring occasionally until crispy. Remove the crispy pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the sliced leeks to the pan with the remaining pancetta fat. Cook over medium heat until softened. Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Next add in the tablespoon of butter, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the flour is absorbed into the fat. Cook for a minute or two.
  • While whisking, pour in the chicken broth and half & half. Once the sauce has thickened a bit, add in the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add in the grated Fontina, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and stir until smooth and cheesy. Season with black pepper.
  • Add in the cooked pasta, peas and half of the pancetta. Stir, taste and check for seasonings {I added a few pinches of kosher salt}.
  • Serve up in bowls with a sprinkle of the remaining crispy pancetta.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 735mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1162IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 441mg | Iron: 2mg