Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus

December 1, 2015

Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus is one of my most favorite dishes and is one that my friends and family always ask me to make.  There are not that many ingredients and it’s pretty easy to make. There are so many ways you can add or subtract to this recipe.  You could put kale, chard or some other green instead of asparagus too which is also really good.  For all you vegans out there, see my special notes below for vegan options to this recipe.



  • 1 small bundle of asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 to 1 full bag of frozen peas
  • 1 box of spaghetti noodles
  • 2 thick chunks of pancetta, finely chopped (you can also use bacon or prosciutto; sometimes I like to mix pancetta and prosciutto together)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (or 1/2 yellow onion)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • fresh Italian parsley, chopped for garnish on top


Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta per package instructions.

In another large skillet that will fit the pasta later, cook the pancetta, prosciutto or bacon (whichever combination you choose).  I like using pancetta and prosciutto together because they both give a nice flavor and the prosciutto gets crispy.  Add the finely chopped shallots and garlic and cook a few more minutes until the shallots are translucent.  Then add the asparagus, frozen peas, cream and dry white wine.  Cook until asparagus is al dente and put on simmer until your noodles are ready.

Beat the eggs in a bowl with parmesan cheese and pepper.  Add approximately 1/4 of a cup of the sauce to the egg mixture to temper the eggs before you add to the sauce so that you don’t cook the eggs immediately.

Drain the spaghetti noodles and set aside.  Add the egg mixture to the sauce and then immediately add the noodles and mix together.

Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Special Notes:

  1.  Sometimes I make this dish without the eggs.  However, if you do this you need to cook the sauce longer to let it thicken more.  Or sometimes I will only use one egg.  The egg thickens the sauce quickly.   However, when you have it as leftovers, the egg soaks up all the sauce.  You can always put the leftovers in a pan and add more heavy cream also.
  2. For those people who are vegan, you can leave the heavy cream, egg, parmesan cheese and meat out of it.  You can use more olive oil and mix with the dry white wine.  You don’t want to use more wine because the sauce will be to thin and will not cover the pasta well.  As far as pancetta vegan replacements, you cook up crispy shallots, collard greens or kale which could give the same texture as well as add great flavor.  To make crispy, you can dry off vegetable with a paper towel, coat with a very small amount of olive oil and bake at 350 for approximately 12-20 minutes.

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