Freckles in April: Whole Foods Recipe: Pasta with Bacon and Asparagus

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whole Foods Recipe: Pasta with Bacon and Asparagus

If you are even remotely considering changing up your diet, now is the time to do it. Spring and Summer produce is upon us and it's so much easier to eat well when you've got lots of yummy fresh fruits and veggies at your fingertips. It's way harder in the winter when you're limited to apples, citrus, and winter squashes (I'm so sick of butternut right now).

This recipe has been a favorite for a while. I adapted it from another recipe that is apparently no longer online but involved peas (not my fav).

This is one of those recipes that you really need to have everything chopped and measured and ready before you turn on the stove. Otherwise you'll be frantically chopping and stirring and super annoyed at yourself. Not that I know from experience or anything.

mise en place

Also, I don't know if bacon counts as a whole food (it's a gray area) but this recipe wouldn't be nearly as good without it so oh well.

Pasta with Bacon and Asparagus

1 pound dry pasta (I always use the homemade stuff)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons heavy cream
zest of 1/2 lemon
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 cups asparagus, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 cups chopped spinach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
torn fresh basil leaves

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss with the olive oil.

2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and lemon zest.

3. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until the bacon is crisp and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon, keeping as much of the bacon drippings in the pan as possible.

4. Return the pan (with the bacon drippings) to medium heat. Add the onions and asparagus and saute until the onions are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, basil and spinach and saute an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.

5. Turn the heat to medium-high and whisk in the egg/cream mixture. Let the sauce bubble briefly and then quickly add in the pasta and the cooked bacon (you don't want too much of the egg/cream mixture to evaporate, so work quickly)

6. Toss so that the ingredients are well mixed throughout. When the pasta is heated through (about 4 minutes) season with salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt - remember the bacon is salty and you've salted the pasta water.) Add additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. okay i just posted as my boss. (don't tell please) also just read that comment (if you get em) and then reply to this one if you were going to reply. (man that's like the most embarrassing thing ever). sorry about that...

  3. Pasta is one of my favorite foods ever!!!!!!!! Love this recipe, saving it now!

  4. Just have to tell you that we make this ALL the time, and recently since asparagus has been so expensive ($5 a bunch or more), we've been making it with brussel sprouts and we LOOOOVE it.

    Anyway, thanks for the awesome recipe :)


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