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Asparagus Carbonara

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Serves four to six.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 64

  • 1-1/2 lb. asparagus
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. dried penne rigate
  • 4 large eggs*
  • 3 oz. (1 cup) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano; more for serving
Tip:
The eggs in the recipe may not be cooked sufficiently to eliminate all risk of salmonella; if you’re cooking for small children, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system, use a pasteurized egg product instead.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

Trim the tough bottom ends from the asparagus and cut the spears diagonally into 1-inch segments. In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible. Add the onion to the pan, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion browns around the edges, another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, return the pan to medium-high heat, and add the oil. As soon as the oil is  hot, add the asparagus, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is crisp-tender and brown in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Cook the penne in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl and then stir in the Parmigiano until well blended. Drain the pasta. In a large serving bowl, immediately toss the hot pasta with the egg and cheese mixture. Add the asparagus, onion, and bacon, and toss well. Season with a generous amount of pepper and toss well again. Serve with a sprinkling of the Parmigiano.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 550; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 7; Protein (g): protein g 26; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 63; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 680; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 165; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Quite tasty! Might add an extra slice or two of bacon the next time I make it, but otherwise wouldn't change a thing.

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