*This Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara Pasta recipe is sponsored by Barilla Canada Inc. I’ve received compensation but, as always, all opinions are my own.
This Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara Pasta is the perfect spring-inspired Carbonara recipe featuring fresh cherry tomatoes, asparagus and a deliciously creamy sauce.
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Spring is my favourite time of year because of all the fresh produce that starts appearing in our local markets, and asparagus is one of my personal favourite vegetables! I’m so excited to be sharing this delicious asparagus-inspired recipe with you today in partnership with Barilla Canada – this Easy 20-Minute Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara Pasta!
April 6th is World #CarbonaraDay and I’m thrilled to be celebrating with Barilla Canada this year – Carbonara is one of my favourite easy meals to make because of how easy it is to get creative! Of course, traditional carbonara is made with eggs, pecorino cheese, guanciale (an Italian cured meat), pepper and pasta, but if you’ve been a reader of mine for a while you know I love breaking the rules when it comes to traditional dishes, to make them work for our family and lifestyle.
This Easy 20-Minute Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara Pasta is made with Barilla Canada’s Penne pasta, which is my kids’ favourite pasta variety. I also included regular old bacon in this recipe, just because it’s easy to find and easier on the budget, along with some fresh parmesan, eggs, sea salt and pepper, and fresh cherry tomatoes. Because this recipe is packed with fresh veggies, healthy proteins, and energy-packed pasta, I know it’s going to keep my family satisfied and give us the nutrition we need for our busy life!
Pasta is one of our family’s favourite meals and so it’s on our weekly meal plan at least a few nights a week. It’s no secret that we are big fans of Barilla – I’ve been partnering with Barilla on thebusybaker.ca for over 4 years now, simply because of how much we love the brand and can attest to its quality. Barilla Pasta performs well in all kinds of recipes – it’s the pasta brand I’d recommend over any other.
I’ve been sharing all my favourite easy pasta recipes with you over the years, like this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup, this Creamy One Pot Enchilada Pasta, this Rainbow Vegetable Pasta Salad, and this Easy Pasta Primavera. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you’ll already know how obsessed I am with easy meal ideas that include lots of veggies, and this Easy 20-Minute Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara Pasta is all that and more. You’re going to LOVE it!
How to make Carbonara:
1.) Use a high-quality pasta! – there’s nothing worse than glue-y or overly starchy pasta when you’re trying to pull off a fresh and delicious one-pot pasta dish. Barilla gets my vote for the pasta brand that holds up best in any pasta dish!
2.) Use Fresh Veggies! – ultra-fresh in-season veggies that hold their shape during cooking are the best choices. Always choose ripe produce and lots of fresh herbs and pack your dishes with veggies to create a healthy balance.
3.) Use Fresh Cheese and Eggs! Use fresh cheese that you grate yourself, not the pre-grated kind as it contains added preservatives that prevent it from melting into the sauce properly (this can create a lumpy sauce!). Using fresh eggs helps create a smoother sauce, and making sure your eggs are at room temperature also helps!
4.) Pasta water is liquid gold! – The water you boil the pasta in is a critical part of any carbonara recipe. Reserve at LEAST 2-3 cups of pasta water as it contains starches that will help thicken the sauce, cook the eggs, and create the perfect velvety texture.
5.) Temper your eggs! – Dumping raw eggs into hot pasta will definitely cause the eggs to scramble, which is the most common problem for first time carbonara-makers. Whisk your eggs together with the cheese and pepper, pouring a small amount of pasta water in while whisking, in a steady stream, to slowly heat up the egg mixture. This will ensure your eggs cook evenly and don’t scramble!
Do YOU love carbonara as much as we do? Take the #CarbonaraChallenge on April 6th for World Carbonara Day and give this Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara a try, or substitute your favourite veggies and make your own delicious carbonara creation! OR, use Barilla Canada’s recipe builders HERE for even more recipe inspiration!
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I hope you love this Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite twist on Carbonara? I’d love to know! And don’t forget to visit barilla.ca for even more delicious pasta recipes!
KITCHEN PRODUCTS I RECOMMEND:
Looking for even more comfort food meals? You’ll LOVE these:
Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara Pasta
This Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara Pasta is the perfect spring-inspired dinner recipe with fresh tomatoes, asparagus & light, creamy sauce.
- 1 box Barilla Penne Pasta
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 8 slices bacon chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 1 bunch of asparagus washed and chopped
- 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 egg
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese not the pre-shredded kind, for best results use fresh!
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 2 ½ cups reserved pasta water
- for garnish: fresh parsley shaved parmesan
Fill a large pot with approximately 5 liters of water and add the salt. Bring to a boil.
While the water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook for a few minutes, until cooked but not crisp.
Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for about 1-2 minutes until the shallots soften and the garlic is fragrant.
When the pasta water has boiled, add the pasta, stir and set the timer for 7 minutes. This will cook the penne until just before the al dente stage.
Add the asparagus and cherry tomatoes to the pan with the bacon mixture and toss well, letting the asparagus soften slightly and turn bright green.
As the veggies soften in the pan, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and pepper in a bowl until very smooth. Set aside.
When the pasta has cooked for 7 minutes, turn off the heat and reserve 2 1/2 cups of the pasta water in a glass measuring cup.
Pour 1 cup of the pasta water into the egg mixture very slowly in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
Drain the pasta and add the pasta to the pan with the bacon and veggie mixture, turning the heat to medium low.
Toss the pasta in the bacon and veggies and slowly pour in the tempered egg mixture, stirring constantly.
Continue stirring as the egg mixture turns into a thick creamy sauce and add up to 1 ½ cups more pasta water as needed (I usually add only about 1 cup more) to help the sauce achieve a creamy texture that’s not too thick and not too thin (as desired).
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and some extra shaved parmesan.
This Easy 20-Minute Tomato Asparagus Carbonara Pasta is best enjoyed right after it's made. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.