Wild Asparagus Carbonara: Umbria Springtime Goodness

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Wild asparagus is now sprouting in our Umbrian woods. With a bit of luck, and ideal weather conditions, we’ll be foraging for the woodland goodness until late May. Our pasta at lunch today highlighted the tasty wild asparagus: spaghetti alla carbonara di asparagi. But in this carbonara, I substituted the pancetta (bacon) for tidbits of prosciutto. Enjoy this recipe! And, if you’re not near woods sheltering wild asparagus, use the tender tips of garden asparagus.

Spaghetti alla carbonara di asparagi

Ingredients (4-5 servings):
Spaghetti (1 lb. for every 5 people)
Grated Parmesan (“quanto basta” or “as much as you need”)
Salt and pepper, q. b.
Extra virgin olive oil, q. b.
Eggs, organic if possible (1 for every 2 people)
2-3 diced slices of prosciutto
3-4 Garlic cloves

Break asparagus stalks into pieces about ½ in. long. Rinse in cold water. Set aside. As (salted) pasta water boils, simmer garlic cloves gently for a few minutes in a stainless-steel pan, covered with olive oil. Do not let garlic smoke or burn. Quickly add diced prosciutto. Within a minute or so, add asparagus pieces and simmer a few minutes, until asparagus is tender. Add a ladleful of hot water if needed. Beat eggs, adding a pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. When spaghetti is cooked al dente, drain immediately, saving some of the boiling pasta water in case you need to add to sauce to moisten. Immediately stir in the beaten eggs, then the asparagus mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve. Buon appetito!