Guest chef

Alice Hart

Alice Hart is a Sussex-born food and travel writer, trained chef and food stylist. She is also author of Friends At My Table: A Year Of Eating, Drinking And Making Merry.

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Asparagus carbonara

  • Serves 3-4
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total time 35 mins
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Asparagus carbonara
Asparagus carbonara

step by step

  • 1Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and gently soften the garlic for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
  • 2Whisk together the egg yolks, egg and two-thirds of the grated cheese in a small bowl. Add the garlic and season with lots of black pepper.
  • 3Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, according to pack instructions. Add the asparagus for the last 3 or 4 minutes. Drain, saving half a mugful of the cooking water. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan and add the egg and cheese mixture, stirring constantly. Add enough of the reserved cooking water – about 4 tablespoons – to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta; stir in the basil. Scatter with the pine nuts and serve with the remaining cheese. Note: this recipe contains raw/partially cooked eggs
  • If a baconless carbonara seems too much of a travesty, chop and fry a few rashers of streaky bacon before adding the garlic to the pan. 
  • Recipe photograph by Tara Fisher

You will need

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks, plus 1 large egg
  • 100g pecorino cheese, finely grated (or vegetarian alternative)
  • 300g dried penne
  • 250g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
  • ½ x 28g pack basil, leaves only, shredded
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

+ Nutritional Information