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!