This rich and creamy pasta carbonara with asparagus combines the smoky flavor of pancetta with the creaminess of cream and a blend of cheeses!
I have been on a bit of an "asparagus bender" lately. It happens every year around this time when the price of asparagus just drops to $1.99 per pound and I end up eating it 3 or 4 times per week!
Usually, I just make some roasted asparagus, but last week I made creamy asparagus and pea soup and it was just fabulous. This week, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone again and ended up making this carbonara pasta with asparagus and it was just amazing!
This isn't a "traditional carbonara" recipe in that I didn't use an egg. Instead, I used heavy cream to give this pasta with asparagus its creaminess. I know that some will say that it is technically an alfredo sauce, but in my mind, once you add the pancetta in to the recipe, it tastes more like a carbonara!
And let's talk about the pancetta. For the last few years, I have been buying the pancetta that is already diced for you. I know that most people are "conditioned" to think that it is always more expensive to buy the pre-cut meats and vegetables, but I have found that the pre-packaged diced pancetta (I buy it in the deli section) has much less fat in it than if you try to get a chunk of pancetta from the deli counter. Whenever I buy it from the deli counter, it seems that I am throwing half of it away because it is all fat!
And yes - if you don't have pancetta, you can substitute bacon, just make sure that you drain most of the grease out before adding the wine and cream!
This cooks up pretty quickly. I can really make the entire sauce in less time than it takes for the pasta water to come to a boil and the pasta to cook!
Scroll down for the recipe!
Carbonara Pasta with Asparagus Recipe
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta about 4 oz
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small shallot diced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream you can substitute half & half
- 12 oz penne or rotini
- 1 lb fresh asparagus ends trimmed and cut in to 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup grated Italian Blend Parmesan/Romano/Pecorino or Parmesan cheese + additional for topping
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and it is browned.
- Add the garlic and shallots and cook until they begin to soften.
- Reduce the heat and add the wine. Cook for about a minute. Add the heavy cream and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cheese and lemon zest and stir to remove any lumps.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the asparagus in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus.
- Add the pasta and asparagus to the cream sauce and stir to coat.
- If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to "loosen it up" until it is the right consistency.
- Serve and enjoy!
My husband is all about pasta anything and lately, he's been obsessing over asparagus too. This would be the perfect recipe for him right now. Looks amazing! Thanks for linking up with Delicious Dishes Recipe Party!
This looks absolutely wonderful and I've pinned it. My family will love it!
Here from the Share Your Style party.
This is right up my alley, pinning to try. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for the recipe. When you are in a hurry, Paul Newman's bottled alfredo sauce works very well also and saves time. Just doctor it up with some garlic or whatever. Frozen peas are a good addition with the asparagus. I also like to use shrimp and sauté the gartic wih the shrimp. Very fast and easy meal.