Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recipe: Spaghetti with Asparagus, Scallions, and Bacon


JD Havens

A plate of Spaghetti Carbonara can be comforting, but the bacon-and-egg sauce may be a bit rich for a weeknight dinner or when you want lighter fare as the weather heats up. This interpretation by cookbook author and cooking teacher Molly Stevens, which appeared in Real Food, lightens and brightens things up by eliminating the raw egg, cutting back on the bacon, skipping the cream, and adding plenty of fresh asparagus and scallions. It offers just the right amount of smoky bacon flavor to recall the original and satisfy any appetite, notes Stevens, and a hint of lemon zest and a handful of fresh parsley complete the picture. Serve with a simple tossed salad and a loaf of garlic bread to round out the meal.

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Scallions, and Bacon

Serves 4

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (scant 1 cup)
¼ c. dry white wine
1¼ lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
1 lb. spaghetti
½ c. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until almost crisp, about 7 minutes. Add scallions (leaving bacon and fat in pan), and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 4 more minutes. Add white wine and bring to a boil, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any caramelized bits. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.

When water boils, drop in asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a colander. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.

Return water in pot to a rapid boil and add pasta. Boil until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving about ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Heat bacon and wine mixture over medium-high heat. Add drained pasta, asparagus, and a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss to combine. If pasta seems dry, add a bit more pasta cooking water. Add parsley, lemon zest, cheese, and a generous amount of black pepper, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and more pepper. Serve in warm pasta bowls, topping each with additional freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan, as desired.

Nutrition info (per serving): CALORIES 732 (183 from fat); FAT 20g (sat. 7g); CHOL 26mg; SODIUM 932mg; CARB 105g; FIBER 8g; PROTEIN 29g

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Latest Minnesota-Born-and-Bred Apple Variety Debuts

The University of Minnesota apple breeders release First Kiss, an early ripening cross from the ever-popular Honeycrisp apple
August 2018

First Taste: El Burrito Minneapolis

The popular St. Paul Mexican restaurant opens in south Minneapolis
August 2018

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America
August 2018

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked
August 2018

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on
August 2018

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?
August 2018

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café
July 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags