Carbonara is one of the most traditional pasta dishes in Italy. Originally from Rome, now Italians all over the country are declaring their recipe the best. Italians would never add asparagus to their Carbonara, however I love to lighten this dish with a bit of veg. Bright, green young asparagus love the eggy sauce. Italian Guanciale (cured meat of the pig’s cheek) is still banned for import into the US, but there are a few great domestic brands available. Pancetta totally works too, just look for a thick cut. No asparagus in season, no problem, this will become you go to traditional Carbonara as well. This sauce will come together in the time it takes to cook your pasta as long as you have your Mise ready to go.

 

PREP TIME

10 minutes

COOK TIME

15 minutes

SERVES

4 as a starter, 6 as a main course

Ingredients


  • 1 500g package Monograno Felicetti “Matt” Penne Lisce or 1 pound Felicetti Organic Short
    Cut of your choice
  • 5 Large eggs, best quality free-range you can find
  • ½ Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ Cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1½ Cups diced Pancetta or domestic Guanciale
  • 2 Cloves garlic, slivered fine
  • 1 Cup asparagus, blanched in salt water and shocked in ice bath, and then cut into the same
    size and shape as your pasta
    extra virgin olive oil
    fresh ground pepper to taste
    Kosher salt to taste

Method


  1. Lightly salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil
  2. Prep all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside
  3. Drop the pasta in and cook according to package directions (best to set a timer)
  4. Sauté pancetta or guanciale over medium heat in a pan big enough to hold a pound of pasta until crispy, and most of the fat is rendered (if you have a really fatty pancetta, feel free to drain a bit of fat out of the pan)
  5. Add garlic and cook for a minute until it softens but doesn’t brown
  6. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and cheeses, and add a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
  7. Transfer the cooked pasta into the pan with the guanciale and garlic
  8. Toss pasta the pasta with pancetta or guanciale and add a little bit of the pasta water to loosen
  9. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in egg & cheese mixture. you don’t want to scramble the eggs but rather use the heat of the cooked pasta to emulsify the sauce
  10. Toss well until thoroughly combined
  11. Toss in asparagus and serve topped with grated cheese if that makes you happy
  12. Serve immediately