Spaghetti alla carbonara di asparagi

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 fixings

 The finished product

 

 

Recipe -

(serves 2)

  • 2 eggs

  • 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

 

Method -

  1. Put enough water on to boil, add salt when just coming to the boil.

  2. Grate all the cheese, add eggs and parsley

  3. Fry the 4 asparagus stems until soft - remove and put to the side

  4. Fry onions until soft and translucent, add chopped asparagus

  5. Put pasta on to cook

  6. When pasta is cooked, add it to the onion and asparagus mixture, continue to cook and add some of the reserved pasta water

  7. 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.

  8. Finish with Freshly ground black pepper

 

 

 

 

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CATHERINE'S
COOKING TIPS

#1 

Shop local and try to use seasonal ingredients - they will be freshest and most economical

 

#2

Buy the best you can afford - even if it means making do with less.

 

#3

Keep it simple - and as unprocessed as possible.  Butter and E.V. Olive Oil over margarine, spreads and processed vegetable oils,