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- 1 pound dried or fresh pappardelle
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 bunch asparagus, thinly sliced on the bias (about 2½ cups)
- 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 12 medium basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- kosher salt
This recipe is a fun take on a classic carbonara that celebrates the fresh flavors of spring. This is a fabulous weeknight dinner using pantry staples that comes together quickly while still feeling special.
Technique tip: Pasta water is what I like to call "unicorn juice". It is the glue that sticks the sauce to the pasta. Always use pasta water in every recipe to ensure a luxurious final result. To easily separate eggs, use your hands to hold the yolk and let the egg white fall through your fingers.
Swap option: Pappardelle can be swapped for any pasta of your choice. Bacon can be swapped for guanciale or pancetta. Asparagus can be swapped for any other spring vegetable of your choice. No need to use both types of cheese, if you only have one that will do! Just keep in mind that pecorino is saltier than parmesan.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heavily salt the water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 to 2 cups of the pasta cooking water for later.2.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, pecorino and parmesan until well combined and the consistency of a thick paste. Set aside.3.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until the fat has rendered, and the bacon is crisped, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, chop the bacon into smaller pieces (about 1/4-inch).4.
Add the asparagus to the pan with the rendered bacon fat, season with salt, and cook until the asparagus is toothsome but tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.5.
Add the chives (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish), asparagus, bacon fat (about 1/4 cup) and half of the chopped bacon to the egg mixture, mixing constantly to combine to avoid cooking the eggs. Next, stream in 1/2 cup pasta water, mixing constantly, to further temper the eggs. Add the pasta and toss everything to combine and coat the pasta in the sauce. Add more pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce if it is too thick. Finally, add about 5 to 6 healthy cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Toss again.6.
Evenly distribute into serving bowls, top with remaining cheese, reserved bacon, freshly ground black pepper, fresh chives and basil, is using.