My Speedy Carbonara With Asparagus, Pancetta and Pecorino

Massimo Mele adds a delightful twist to classic carbonara with the inclusion of asparagus and salty pecorino.

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  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 180g thinly sliced flat pancetta, rind removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, plus 3 extra yolks
  • 1 cup (80g) grated pecorino
  • 400g bucatini or other long pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked


1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a small frypan over medium heat. Cook the pancetta and onion, stirring, for 6 minutes or until pancetta is crisp. Add garlic and cook for a further 1 minute or until fragrant, then set aside.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup (40g) pecorino and stir until well combined.
3. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente, then drain, reserving 1/2 cup (125ml) cooking water.
4. Add pasta, pancetta mixture, asparagus and remaining 1 tbs oil to egg mixture and toss well to combine (the hot pasta will ‘cook’ the egg). Season with black pepper and loosen with cooking water if necessary. Garnish with parsley to serve.

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