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"It is so simple," says Rach about this dish, "that it's silly. Like, you don't even have to print the recipe! You just watch it once and you have it forever and ever and ever." She combines chitarra (square "guitar string" spaghetti) with sauteed leeks and guanciale, wine, lemon juice, pecorino and crispy shallots, and the result is "absolutely delicious." Because there are so few ingredients, Rach says to use the best ones possible. You'll definitely taste the difference. 

For more popular pastas from Rach, check out her Pumpkin Pasta and Bucatini with Creamy Bacon and Onion Sauce


  • 5 to 6 thin leeks
  • ½ pound guanciale or pancetta
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 cup Italian/Tuscan white wine
  • Salt
  • 1 pound chitarra
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • Crispy shallots, to garnish and serve


Serves: 4


Place a pot of water on to boil for pasta.

Rachael Ray 8-Quart Covered Oval Stockpot

Rachael Ray 8-Quart Covered Oval Stockpot

Rachael Ray

Halve the leeks, then wash, dry and slice ¼ to ½ inch across, whites and light greens. 

Cut the guanciale into ¼-inch-thick slices, then into batons.   

In a large skillet, heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Render, lightly brown and crisp the guanciale, then add the leeks and bay and cook 20 minutes to soften and fully develop their flavor. Add wine and simmer over low heat.   

Salt water and cook pasta 1 minute less than directions.   

Reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water, transfer with tongs or drain in strainer and combine with leeks. Add lemon juice, stir, then toss with cheese and reserved water to emulsify. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with crispy shallots and serve.