Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Penne with Asparagus, Shiitake, and Pancetta

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Fresh lemon zest and juice brighten this springtime pasta and enhance the asparagus flavor, while earthy shiitake and salty pancetta round things out. Any short pasta shape will do here, so feel free to use whichever you like.


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. dried penne rigate
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium lemon, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest; squeezed to yield 3 Tbs. juice
  • 3/4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, about 6 slices
  • 12 oz. fresh shiitake, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (6 cups)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. medium-thick asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 cup); more, shaved, for serving
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 600
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 990
  • Carbohydrates (g): 74
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 24


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, whisk 2 Tbs. of the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest in a small bowl.
  • Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the lemon mixture; set aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet, cook the pancetta in the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat, turning once or twice until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes; transfer to paper towels.
  • Add the shiitake to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the pasta pot.
  • Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits, and then add the asparagus. Cook, stirring often, until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the contents of the skillet to the pasta pot along with the grated cheese, chives, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; toss to combine, adding more pasta water, if necessary. Serve with the pancetta crumbled over top. Pass the shaved Parmigiano at the table.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • pokano | 04/04/2016

    Excellent pasta dish and not that difficult to make. I cut the amount of salt to a scant 1 t. of kosher salt (which is less salty than table salt).

  • CannedYou | 04/28/2014

    Thought the "pieces parts" made the recipe. It is not confusing or difficult. Cooking the items separately makes sense and gives you freedom with measurements and portions. Used fresh asparagus from a local farm...It was delicious with the cheese, lemon and saltiness of the pancetta...make it!

  • Bonbon35 | 04/17/2014

    A pleasant meal but not fabulous or memorable. I found some of the flavours a bit confused, with the lemon, garlic and salty pork.

  • User avater
    FredCo | 03/22/2014

    A little involved, since all of the parts have to be assembled separately. But the pasta was nice and warm with the addition of the asparagus in the cooking water at the end. Cooking the asparagus separately keeps it from overcooking. The lemon oil adds a nice bright flavor that goes so well with asparagus.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.