Kipper and I were in a garden centre buying plants when we spotted bunches of fresh local asparagus by the checkouts, and our dinner plans rapidly changed. I’m pleased to say that she has inherited DH and my love of fresh, seasonal British asparagus, so a big bunch was a sure-fire winner all round.
However, by the time we’d got home, unloaded the plants, played in the garden, read the book she’d brought home from school, and generally got our act together, there wasn’t a lot of time left to make dinner. Fortunately quick and asparagus are two words that go together well.
And pasta. Pasta’s quick, too.
In the 11 minutes that it took the spaghetti to boil, I chopped and sautéed, grated and whisked. Then, I drained, mixed, and served. YUM! Everyone agreed that this asparagus carbonara was delicious!
We also agreed that you need super-skinny asparagus for this to work. Thick spears wouldn’t have been so good. Just so you know.
A quick word about carbonara though – in its traditional incarnation, it’s completely treif (not kosher) because along with the eggs and pasta go pieces of crispy fried bacon 🙁 . I have no idea what that tastes like, but I imagine that the bacon gives a salty, savoury note which is replaced here to some extent by the sun dried tomatoes. I don’t suppose they taste anything like bacon, but I do think this vegetarian/kosher carbonara stands up in its own right.
Wonderfully savoury, fresh, summery pasta. Grind over some black pepper if you fancy and tuck in. 🙂
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- 150-200g spaghetti
- 450-500g fine asparagus spears
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 egg
- 50g grated parmesan (or equivalent hard cheese)
- Cook the spaghetti in boiling water according to the instructions on the packet.
- Meanwhile, trim the asparagus spears, wash, and cut into 3-4cm lengths. Set aside.
- Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes and the garlic, and fry, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the asparagus and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until the asparagus is cooked. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, beat together the egg and the grated parmesan.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, then add to the egg mixture with the asparagus and sun dried tomatoes. Toss everything together well to ensure that the spaghetti and vegetables are coated in the egg/cheese sauce.
- Serve immediately!
- NB: Although the egg is partially cooked by the heat of the pasta and vegetables, this dish is probably unsuitable for those who avoid raw eggs, such as pregnant women and people with a suppressed immune system. Sorry.
I’m linking this recipe up with Meat Free Mondays over on Tinned Tomatoes, Pasta Please, hosted by Thinly Spread and co-organised by Tinned Tomatoes, and Eat Your Greens, hosted by the VegHog.
I’m also joining in with CookBlogShare, TastyTuesdays, and Recipe of the Week.