Asparagus Pasta Carbonara

Asparagus Pasta Carbonara

Add a pop of color to this fast and easy weeknight classic. The thin green asparagus meld effortlessly with the pasta and lends a bright dimension. It is a great alternative to peas with a refreshing take on this classic recipe.

Recipe Summary

30 minutes



kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving, optional
3 large egg yolks
1 pound jumbo asparagus
8 ounces Pasta (fettuccine or spaghetti)
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped


Step 1
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Mix the Parmesan, egg yolks, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Step 2
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into thin wide ribbons or thinly hand slice them. Set aside.

Step 3
Cook your pasta of choice in the boiling water according to the package instructions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain.

Step 4
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat from the skillet. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the drained pasta and asparagus and toss until well coated and mixed with the bacon.

Step 5
Whisk 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water into the egg mixture, then quickly pour it over the pasta and toss to gently cook the eggs and make a creamy sauce. Thin out the mixture with more pasta water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with the parsley and more Parmesan if desired.

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