Asparagus Carbonara


Cookbook author Melissa Clark riffs on classic carbonara, swapping out the pasta for thin asparagus spears. It has that same irresistible pancetta-cheese-egg flavor, but with bright green asparagus at the center.Recipes adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Slideshow: More Asparagus Recipes 

Asparagus Carbonara
Photo: © Abby Hocking
Total Time:
15 mins
4 to 1 as side dish


  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice 

  • 1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces 

  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten 

  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 

  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Fine sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain off the excess fat, leaving just enough to coat the skillet. Add the asparagus and 2 tablespoons of water and cook over moderately high heat until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and immediately add the egg yolks and butter to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until the butter is melted. Toss in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with salt and the pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve right away.

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