Bigoli with asparagus carbonara

A pasta alla carbonara with the sweet taste of spring: from Lazio to Veneto with Andrea’s creamy and rich recipe.

Purists are always very suspicious of alternative versions of iconic recipes, but there are cases where even the palate most faithful to traditional recipes cannot help but be seduced by truly special flavours and combinations.
This is the case with pasta alla carbonara, an untouchable classic of Roman cuisine and a recipe whose preparation is always hotly debated: the variant with asparagus is a springtime alternative that will leave its mark and convince even the most sceptical.
The classic cream of yolks and cheese will not be missing, but in Andrea’s recipe, asparagus will be the protagonist, together with smoked bacon that will take the place of guanciale. Making this version even more appealing are the homemade bigoli: a touch of Veneto culinary tradition that will not disappoint.

Procedure for bigoli

Preliminary remark: to make bigoli, a long pasta format that is a bit ‘chunkier’ than spaghetti, you need a bigolaro, a pasta press that you can buy in household goods shops.

Procedure: put the flour, eggs and turmeric in a bowl and knead; knead the dough until it is smooth and let it rest covered for at least 30 minutes. Start making the bigoli by passing a little dough at a time through the bigolaro, remembering to flour it well with semolina once it comes out of the press.

Procedure for asparagus carbonara

To prepare carbonara, start with the asparagus. Wash, clean and peel them, removing the most woody part: to work out how much of the stalk to remove, press your finger lightly on the stalk, breaking it, and you will see that it will break at the correct height, thus removing the hardest part. In a saucepan, pour some water which will be used for cooking the pasta.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus stalks into rounds of about 1 cm (keeping the tips intact) and the bacon into strips. Pour a little oil into a frying pan and sauté first the bacon for a few minutes and then the chopped asparagus (keep the green asparagus aside as it will be added at the end), which you cook over a low heat, stirring and taking care not to burn.
Blanch the green asparagus in the pasta water, leaving it al dente, and add the bigoli. While the pasta is cooking, combine the egg yolks, Grana Padano cheese, plenty of pepper and a ladle of cooking water in a bowl; mix well and set aside.
Drain the bigoli al dente and transfer them directly into the pan with the asparagus and bacon, together with a ladle of cooking water. Finish cooking by letting the pasta season and adding more water if necessary, taking care not to leave it too dry. Move the pan from the heat, add the cream of egg yolks and Grana Padano, stir well and add more black pepper to taste if necessary.
Stir once more, admire the creaminess and serve your carbonara.


Related articles