Weeknight Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Carbonara + Shaved Asparagus Salad

June 15, 2011

Inspiration for tonight's dinner -- balanced, satisfying, and ready in well under an hour (and so pretty!).

We've neatly condensed the recipes below, but to read the full-fledged versions (and save and print them) just click on the recipe links or photos. Dinner is served!

The Menu:

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Daddy's Carbonara by Eric Liftin

Daddy's Carbonara


Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad by CRS

Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad


The Grocery List (for 4):

  • • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • • 1 pound bacon
  • • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (or fresh, if you can find them!)
  • • 1 bunch asparagus
  • • a big hunk of fresh parmesan
  • • a handful of hazelnuts 
  • • a few sprigs of fresh mint

There's a good chance you have 4 eggs, a lemon, sherry vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, and extra virgin olive oil on hand -- but if not, now's your chance to stock your larder!


The Plan: 

1. Prep time: Put a pot of salted water on to boil, crush and toast a handful of hazelnuts, grate a cup of parmesan, chop a tablespoon of mint, shave that asparagus (here's how), toss it with the hazelnuts and mint and set aside, cut the bacon into 1/2" slices.

2. Onward to pasta: Toss your pasta into the now boiling water, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, empty the bag of peas into a microwave-safe bowl, add a little water and microwave 3-4 minutes (stir halfway through).

3. Stir it up: In a large bowl, mix the eggs, grated parmesan, and pepper (to taste) until it looks like a thick batter. Drain the pasta but try to keep a little cooking water. Dump the steamy noodles into the egg mixture and agitate well to cook the egg. Spoon in the bacon, sprinkle in the peas, and get them incorporated evenly. 

4. Countdown to dinner: All that's left is dressing! Whisk together 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pour it over the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with some shaved parmesan. 

Last step? Pour yourself (another) glass of white (or rosé). You deserve it. Why? Because dinner is served.


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MsDs_Foodie June 20, 2011
I tried the shaved asparagus with my family, but they were not big fans of the flavors or the texture.
liamoran June 17, 2011
My best friend came over Wednesday night and we gorged on this pasta and asparagus salad. I have to say they were both great, but the salad was SO great. We're both avid home cooks and neither of us had ever made a salad with asparagus. This will be making many spring and summer appearances. Thanks!