Penne with Asparagus Carbonara

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For a wonderful warm, cheesy summer salad why not try this Penne with Asparagus Carbonara.

Your family and friends will rave about it, I PROMISE!

Penne (PEN-nay) is Italian for pen or quill and used to describe short-to medium-length straight tubes (ridged or smooth) of pasta with diagonally cut ends. Use the ridged ones for this recipe so the warm cheese sauce will cling more to the pasta.

Carbonara (kar-boh-NAH-rah) is an Italian dish of pasta, usually spaghetti, with a sauce of eggs, cream, Parmesan and bits of cooked bacon.

To begin, cut off asparagus tips and slice stalks diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.

Penne with Asparagus Carbonara

Serves: 6

  • 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • 3/4 lb. dried penne pasta
  • 4 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, then into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne until al denta (a slight resistance when one bites into it), about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in another large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus tips and stalks until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a heavy skillet, cook bacon in olive oil on medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks.

Add 2 tbsp. of the cheese and the butter.

Drain penne, add to egg mixture and mix well. Add 1 cup of the cheese, toss to coat.

Add the crisp bacon and toss to coat.

Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

EASY HUH? I guarantee this recipe will be a keeper.

Sometimes I just make this salad as a meal and any leftovers are delicious re-heated. ENJOY!

About Chef Kathy

My name is Kathy Davault. I am an award winning chef and author, and have enjoyed cooking for over 30 years. I decided to go to culinary school to become a chef because I knew there was more to cooking than just following recipes.

I started my website in 2006 to offer an abundance of information on many of the things I learned in culinary school. I have a real passion for cooking and want to share all of my tips and techniques with you.

If you are serious about cooking, and would like to be considered a real chef without going to culinary school, let me show you how. You will truly leave a lasting impression on your family and friends, and become the talk of the party with your fabulous dishes!


Chef Kathy


  1. belinda grayson says:

    i cannot wait to make this dish Thank you!!!!!

  2. Wendy D says:

    The directions say to add 1 cup of the cheese, but the ingredients list only has 3/4 cup of cheese. Which is correct?

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