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Al's Bucatini Carbonara Primavera

Al Roker's recipe for Bucatini Carbonara Primavera
TODAY Show: Al Roker mixes two delicious pasta recipes for one veggie-filled dish that he calls Bucatini Carbonara Primavera. -- April 8, 2016Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


  • 6-8 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 pound bucatini or your favorite pasta
  • 1 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 pound small asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half
  • 1 cup English peas, shucked
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mint, thinly sliced
  • Pea tendrils for garnish
  • Chef notes

    This pasta just screams spring! You'll get a dose of veggies with peas and asparagus, and also decadent richness with the cream, Parm and egg on top. I mean, what's better than an egg to pull it all together?


    Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

    Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it is crispy and rendered, about 5-7 minutes.  Then transfer to a papertowl–lined plate to drain. Leave 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Add asparagus to that same skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add peas, spring onions, garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender.

    To the same pan add ¼ cup of pasta water, cream, 1 cup of parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest and basil. Stir to incorporate. Add pancetta and pasta to pan and toss, adding more pasta water if needed. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

    Poach the egg.

    Heat water in a deep 2 quart pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and bring to simmer – NOT a boil.  Crack 1 very cold egg into small cup or ramekin. Stir the water until it is spinning around and carefully add egg into center of water. Turn off heat, cover pan for 5 minutes. Remove egg and serve immediately or move egg to ice bath and reheat with warm water before serving. 

    Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle remaining herbs, and top with poached egg.