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Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara”

I found this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Cooking Light and I couldn’t wait to make it.  It took very little prep or time to make and it ended up being creamy, cheesy, and totally delicious.  I loved that, even though it didn’t have bacon like a traditional carbonara has, it was still flavorful and satisfying.  My husband, son, and I all loved it.  My daughter, on the other hand, thought it was too cheesy and she didn’t like the texture.  It’s no surprise since she doesn’t like cheese.  Oh well… her loss. 

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water per instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes; add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

Mix the egg, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, to taste until well combined.  Drain the pasta and immediately add the cheese/egg mixture to the pasta and stir until well combined and the cheese has melted.  Add the tomato and asparagus mixture to the pan and mix until evenly coated.  Place pasta into the serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the torn basil leaves.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy.

Tomato and Asparagus "Carbonara"

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat penne pasta cooked per instructions
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 lb asparagus ends removed and cut into thirds
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan Asiago, Romano cheese mixture
  • 1 large egg
  • Several fresh basil leaves torn

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water per instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes; add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  • Mix the egg, Parmesan cheese, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, to taste, until well combined. Drain the pasta then place back into the cooking pot and immediately add the cheese/egg mixture to the pasta and stir until well combined and the cheese has melted. Add the tomato and asparagus mixture to the pasta and mix until evenly coated. Place pasta into the serving bowl and sprinkle the top with the torn basil leaves. Serve immediately. Enjoy.
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20 Comments

  1. Really looks great Pam! I love asparagus, raw, undercooked, overcooked and even canned! Don

  2. Hi,

    I’ m Alberto from Italy.

    You Have a Best website.

    You have many delicious recipes.

    I have a blog http://www.realitaliandish.wordpress.com is a blog of real italian recipes if you wont take some recipes you can take is a honor for me.

    Bye from Italy CIAO.

    Sorry for my english.

    Alberto Zamò

  3. oh my goodness, this looks so good, i love these kind of flavors!

  4. Doesn’t like cheese?!?!? Well…I’ll gladly have her share.

  5. I will take your daughter’s share too 🙂 This is a nice vegetarian dish. I love any type of pasta.

  6. Carbonara sauce makes everything wonderful, and with the great ingredients in this dish, I’m not surprised that it was an instant hit!

  7. Yum, another delicious recipe!! it looks great Pam!

  8. oh, i have GOT to try this one! I’m out of eggs.. I’ll be picking some up though! 🙂

  9. Kim in MD says:

    This pasta looks so delicious, Pam! I’m afraid I would have to add some bacon, though, which wouldn’t make it a “light” recipe. 😉 I am always surprised when you say your daughter doesn’t like cheese, because your children are the most adventurous eaters!

  10. Your daughter would NOT like our house, as we put cheese in/on almost everything. Wisconsin loves us.

    That is a great pasta dish but I’d be tempted to work some crisped pancetta or bacon in there just the same:)