Pasta with asparagus and bacon in a brown butter sauce. Jazzed up with lots of flavor from salted bacon, black pepper and Parmesan. A straightforward, hearty dinner ideal for busy weeknights but luxurious enough for a date night. A comforting combination that comes together in about 20 minutes. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
(7.1 oz) shaped pasta, like shells or orecchiette
(5.3 oz) green asparagus
(7 oz) salted bacon bits
garlic cloves, minced
(4 tbsp) salted butter, at room temperature
each: crushed chili flakes, salt
(1 oz) grated parmesan, more for serving
crushed chili flakes and black pepper, for serving
chopped almonds, for serving (optional)
In This Recipe
Snap off any woody exterior from the bottom of the asparagus. Cut the bigger asparagus in half lengthways then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon, cook until crispy and golden brown, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add asparagus, sauté, tossing frequently until crispy-tender, for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Stir the butter constantly to keep it moving. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle. Keep stirring, about 3-5 minutes, until the butter starts to turn golden brown. It will smell intensely buttery and nutty. Add bacon and asparagus back to the skillet, stir to combine. Toss with pasta and Parmesan, add a splash of cooking water and stir until pasta is coated.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan, ground pepper and chopped almonds. Enjoy!