Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic and traditional pasta dish from Lazio, Italy and it is one of our all-time favorites. It is a simple dish to create but has so much flavor! When looking for a pasta dish that really satisfies without being time consuming, this is what we often go with. But don’t let its simplicity of this Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus fool you! The ingredients combine for a flavorful and vibrant dish!
What’s in this Carbonara?
There are only a few ingredients in this dish, but what you choose to use with define the flavor. Here’s what we recommend:
Guanciale is a piece of meat that is from the cheek of the pig and cured. It has a fatty composition, similar to bacon. However, it is not smoked, and the flavor is much different than using bacon in this dish. It is worth looking for guanciale as it is traditional in this dish and its taste and texture are fantastic.
We’ve eaten “carbonara” that uses bacon and it’s just not the same. The smokiness and saltiness of bacon can overwhelm the dish. But if you absolutely needed a substitute, pancetta is the best option, and bacon as a last resort.
Pecorino Romano Cheese
There is no real debate as to what cheese to use if you are trying to be authentic. It’s sheep’s milk Pecorino Romano. And it is wonderful here. You want to find a less-aged cheese if you have your choice, as there will be more creaminess when the sauce is made. If you want to use Parmigiano Reggiano, the flavor will be different and you’ll lack the true authenticity (albeit outstanding as well). But just do you! Either way, high quality cheese is a must!
To add a vibrant twist to the original Spaghetti Carbonara, we add asparagus. The asparagus add just the touch of freshness to lighten up the whole dish without changing to overall flavor profile.
Cooking the Spaghetti
The last thing that we have found to be helpful is to cook your pasta in less water than usual. Using less water will ensure that the water will be more starchy than normal. You will need a little water to make the sauce come together in the end and it’s better if it is starchy.
When making this dish, we also use a little less salt in the pasta cooking water. Using less salt in the water is beneficial because the guanciale and Pecorino are both quite salty on their own.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
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