Friday, October 18, 2013

Creamy Carbonara with Fresh Asparagus and Thyme

Tis the season for asparagus, and this scrumptious pasta dish is one of my husbands all-time favourites. Mmmm crispy fried bacon and asparagus – tossed through cooked wholewheat pasta with generous spoonfuls of grated Parmesan. Oh, and chopped fresh thyme.....





I don't eat a lot of meat, as I believe that there are so many nutritious meals you can make from vegetables alone. So, because meat is a treat, I can afford to buy the best quality free-range bacon I can find.




Serves 2

Ingredients:
200g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free spaghetti
1 medium bunch fresh asparagus, washed and tough ends removed
125g of the best bacon you can buy, chopped into strips
3 free-range egg yolks
50g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 small bunch fresh thyme, washed and chopped
50 ml single cream
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Method:
bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the asparagus diagonally into bite sized pieces and blanch quickly (a couple of minutes) in a bowl of boiling water. Add the spaghetti to the pan and cook according to the packet instructions.
 To make the creamy carbonara sauce, put the egg yolks into a bowl, add the cream and half the parmesan, mix together with a fork. Season lightly and put aside.
 Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil, fry the bacon until dark brown and crisp. Add the blanched asparagus and loads of black pepper (to your liking) sprinkle in the thyme leaves, give everything a good stir and fry until the asparagus has softened slightly. Drain off excess oil and set aside.
 For this next step you need to work quickly. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Immediately, toss the pasta in the pan with the asparagus and bacon, then remove from the heat and add a spoonful or two, of the reserved cooking water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly, season to taste. (No more cooking now, otherwise you'll end up with scrambled eggs.) Serve at once with remaining parmesan and more fresh thyme. Enjoy!


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