Today’s lunch was experimental on quite a few levels. The first one being that I don’t eat wholemeal pasta. The second one being that I don’t eat spaghetti. Finally, I attempted a Spaghetti alla carbonara di asparagi without the usual addition of guanciale (Italian cured meat made from pork cheeks), which is usually an essential ingredient in a regular Carbonara - I kind of substituted red onion (one, for colour and two, for flavour). Well, I am amazed, because it was delicious and a very substantial lunch!
One thing to note from the recipe is there is no addition of cream, (which is sometimes added to this dish), however, it is not necessary as reserving the pasta boiling water and adding it as an emulsifier, works even better and is healthier.
The finished product
50g each Parmesan & Pecorino Romano
10g chopped parsley
1 handful of asparagus (snapping the bases at their natural point of resistance) and then chopping into small pieces - reserve 4 stems for decoration
30g EVO oil
1 small chopped red onion
180g spaghetti (any kind)
Freshly ground black pepper
Put enough water on to boil, add salt when just coming to the boil.
Grate all the cheese, add eggs and parsley
Fry the 4 asparagus stems until soft - remove and put to the side
Fry onions until soft and translucent, add chopped asparagus
Put pasta on to cook
When pasta is cooked, add it to the onion and asparagus mixture, continue to cook and add some of the reserved pasta water
Turn off the heat and toss in egg mixture - if too stiff, add some more of the pasta water - it should be smooth and creamy and not at all “scrambled” looking.
Finish with Freshly ground black pepper