Springtime Spaghetti Anyone?

Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara

The very first dinner that I learned to make was Spaghetti Carbonara. I was10 years old and my Mom signed me up for cooking classes at a charming kitchenware store called “The Pantry” in downtown Kitchener. This dish is delicious yet super easy – essentially, raw eggs are tossed with hot, cooked spaghetti to create a creamy sauce. This recipe uses whole eggs although some cooks prefer to use the yolks only. When Spring arrives and asparagus is in abundance, I love to throw some in for a pop of colour and freshness. Not an asparagus fan? Substitute fresh peas or thinly sliced snow peas.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Diced pancetta
  • 1 cup Finely diced sweet onions
  • 12 Asparagus bottom third discarded and sliced into 2” pieces
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 pkg Dried spaghetti 454 grams or so
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • Salt Kosher salt
  • Pepper Fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Parsley Chopped parsley for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet onions and cook for another few minutes, until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta asparagus mixture from the pan and set aside (leave any remaining oil in the pan).
  • Cook the spaghetti “al dente” according the package directions and drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet with the olive oil, set over medium heat. Using tongs, toss the spaghetti with the olive oil until well coated. Add about ¼ cup of the cooking water to the skillet (if the bottom of the pan is too dry, the eggs will scramble them when you add them).
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the eggs. Quickly toss the pasta with the eggs until the eggs thicken and coat the pasta – continually toss so that the eggs don’t scramble. Add a little more cooking water if the sauce seems too thick.
  • Add in the reserved pancetta, sautéed onions, asparagus and parmesan cheese and season to taste with pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

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