Asparagus and Pancetta Spaghetti

I’m not sure if there is an “official” Italian name for this dish – I mean one other than “Asparagus and Pancetta Spaghetti”. But, authentic Italian or no, it’s certainly a recipe that should be kept on hand when the asparagus season arrives.

The basic concept is similar to that found in the Sauté of Leeks, Endives and Radicchio with Spaghetti recipe from a week back. You have a slightly bitter ingredient (in this case the asparagus) balanced against the salty of the pancetta and the slightly savory of the Parmesan cheese. Add a little more ground pepper than usual, and “voila!” – there’s the best received dish I’ve had in quite some time.

  • 1 lb spaghetti (or other similar pasta)
  • 1/2 lb pancetta, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb asparagus, chopped into 1″ bits
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • black pepper, ground

Make the spaghetti according to the directions on the package.

While waiting for your pasta water to come to a boil, fry up the pancetta over medium heat for about seven minutes. Add the garlic, and fry for another minute.

Once the pasta water gets to the boil, add the spaghetti to the water. Then, add the asparagus to the pancetta frying pan, and fry until soft, roughly 7-10 minutes.

Drain the spaghetti and place into a large glass bowl. Add the olive oil and mix into the pasta. Then add the pancetta and asparagus, as well as 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Toss well.

When plating, sprinkle the spaghetti with another helping of parmesan cheese and top with ground black pepper (to taste).

Serves 4-6

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