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Jamie's asparagus carbonara recipe

Jamie's asparagus carbonara recipe

23 ratings

Jamie says: "I never get bored cooking this dish – it comes together so effortlessly. I just love the contrast between the dark peppery pancetta and delicate asparagus, all coated in the silky egg and cheese sauce." See method

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 15 minutes
  • 463 calories / serving
  • Healthy


  • 300g dried penne
  • 350g asparagus
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g pecorino or parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 4 rashers of smoked pancetta or streaky bacon

Storecupboard ingredient

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    18g 25%
  • Saturates

    6g 29%
  • Sugars

    3g 4%
  • Salt

    1.1g 18%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 58.4g Protein 22.2g Fibre 1.5g


Jamie Oliver 155x255

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, snap the woody ends off the asparagus, then slice the stalks roughly the same length as the pasta, halving any thick stalks lengthways. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a bowl (save the whites for making meringues another day), then finely grate in the cheese and mix together.
  3. Finely slice the pancetta, then place in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of black pepper and cook for 4 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  4. Add the asparagus to the pancetta for 3 minutes, then drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water. Tip the pasta into the pancetta pan, toss and stir everything together, then remove from the heat and wait 2 minutes for the pan to cool slightly (if the pan’s too hot, it’ll scramble; get it right and it’ll be smooth, silky and deliciously elegant).
  5. Loosen the egg mixture with a splash of cooking water, then pour over the pasta, tossing and stirring vigorously – the egg will gently cook in the residual heat. Season to perfection. adjust the consistency with extra cooking water, if needed, and finish with a pinch of pepper and an extra grating of cheese, if you like.

See more Jamie Oliver recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

JO 5 Ingredients MediterraneanCredit: 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Michael Joseph© Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2023, 5 Ingredients Mediterranean). Recipe photography David Loftus ©2023


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