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Asparagus Carbonara

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six.



  • 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

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 165
  • Sodium (mg): 680
  • Carbohydrates (g): 63
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 26


  • 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.


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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • IL | 06/04/2020

    Simple and straight forward recipe. Substantial portions were enjoyed by young and old. We will be having this for supper again and I would not hesitate to serve it to guests.

  • pokano | 06/16/2017

    This was easy to make and good, but I think it would be even better substituting pancetta for the bacon. I'll try that next time.

  • user-4298794 | 12/27/2014

    Just finished eating this and YUM! The asparagus makes a great addition. Because I hate to wash dishes, I returned the pasta to the cooking pot to stir in the egg/cheese mixture at the end, which kept a good amount of heat available to make the eggs the right consistency. I highly recommend this recipe (but this website never disappoints!)

  • cvaliant | 06/10/2010

    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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