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Pancetta and asparagus carbonara with thyme breadcrumbs recipe

Pancetta and asparagus carbonara with thyme breadcrumbs recipe

7 ratings

Give authentic creamy Italian carbonara a summery twist with delicious asparagus and thyme. This comforting pasta dish is super quick and simple to make, but will always hit the spot. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook
  • 660 calories / serving


  • 20g butter
  • 130g pack pancetta cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g (3 1/2oz) pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 300g (10oz) linguine
  • 250g (8oz) asparagus, trimmed and chopped
If you haven't got linguine, try using spaghetti instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    31g 44%
  • Saturates

    13g 66%
  • Sugars

    7g 7%
  • Salt

    1.4g 23%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 71.7g Protein 27.9g Fibre 5.7g


  1. Put half the butter and the pancetta in a frying pan. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until golden. Reduce the heat to low and add 1 crushed garlic clove. Cook for 1 minute, until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  2. Return the unwashed pan to a low-medium heat and add the remaining garlic, butter and olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and thyme and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently until crisp and golden.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, egg and two-thirds of the grated cheese. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water following the packet instructions. Add the asparagus for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and asparagus – reserving half a mugful of cooking water – and return to the pan.
  5. Add the pancetta and egg mixture to the pan, tossing to combine. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved cooking water and stir for 1 minute, creating a creamy sauce that coats the pasta. Spoon the pasta into bowls and scatter over the toasted breadcrumbs and a couple of thyme sprigs. Serve the remaining cheese on the side.

See more Italian recipes

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

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