Make Ahead

Asparagus alla Carbonara

April  8, 2010
Author Notes

That's right friend- there's no pasta in this dish. Lest you think this is some gimmicky, rachael-ray-style flight of fancy (today we're making lasagna hamburgers!), I consulted my flavor bible, and this recipe incorporates several of asparagus' favorite flavor buddies: parmesan, eggs, black pepper, and salt (I guess those last two are a little lame, but still- eggs and cheese!). Plus, it used up 4 of the two dozen farm eggs my mother-in-law gave me, so that was awesome. It's going to be all eggs, all the time 'round here for awhile :) Oh- and one note about the cheese- don't grate it with a microplane- it will be far too fluffy. I used the smaller set of holes on my box grater and I think that was just about right. —arielleclementine

  • Serves 4
  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces guanciale (or pancetta, or bacon) diced small
  • 4 large farm eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • more freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put trimmed asparagus on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toss with the oil to coat. Spread asparagus out in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender but still a lovely green.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the guanciale in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the guanciale is just starting to become crispy. Drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of the pork fat, and set the pan aside to cool off for a minute, while you wait for the asparagus to come out of the oven (also, the skillet shouldn't be too hot when you add the beaten eggs or they'll scramble).
  3. When the asparagus has finished roasting, use tongs to transfer it to the skillet with the guanciale. Then add the beaten eggs and cheese to the skillet and toss together quickly. Crack some more black pepper over the top and serve. Hooray!
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I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).