Looking outside, I can hardly tell it’s spring. The sky is grey, the grass is brownish, and the trees are still barren. O Sunshine, where art thou?
We get less and less “spring weather” here in Jersey every year, it seems. Is it like that everywhere? Do you feel like it’s either scorching hot summer or freezing cold winter all year round with like a week, max, of spring and fall in-between?
At least our produce around here is keeping up with the season. I walk into Wegman’s and BAM! green everywhere. The herbs are fresh and bouncy, the asparagus stalks are bright, the rows of fruits and vegetables seem to finally have a life to them that makes me want to stock my fridge up with everything I can fit in my shopping cart. (And by want to, I mean I do this.)
Because it’s still cold, I decided to incorporate some of my favorite seasonal flavors into one of my favorite comfort foods. Asparagus and basil pesto green-ify Spaghetti Carbonara, and it’s all made in one pot! I add in mushrooms as well to play up the earthy flavor the asparagus lends.
The “Carbonara” part, in case you’ve never had it before, involves eggs that are cooked from the heat of the pasta to make a rich and creamy coating. As if that wasn’t enough, crumbled bacon is mixed in at the end. Mmm.. eggs and bacon mean I can eat any leftovers for breakfast right? Say yes, because I already made breakfast pasta leftovers happen. I can’t take it back… not that I’d want to.
Next time I make this One Pot Pesto Carbonara, I’m going to include some spring peas. Yum. It’s really a versatile recipe, so feel free to add your own twist to it! If you switch it up, take a photo and tag it with #hostthetoast on Instagram so I can see what creative spins you put on it!
- ¼ cup fresh basil, packed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ½ lb bacon
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into thirds
- 8 oz pasta of choice (I used spaghetti)
- 4 cups chicken stock or water
- 2 large eggs
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- To start, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add in the olive oil, a bit at a time, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and mix in the parmesan. Set aside until ready to use.
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and crumble. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, and asparagus to the pot and saute until the garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms and asparagus just begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the pasta and chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil. Cook until the pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that the pasta is all cooked. At this point, most of the liquid should be absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat and immediately mix in 2 large eggs, salt, pepper, and the pesto. Mix well. The heat from the remaining liquid and pasta will cook the eggs as you stir them in.
- Top with crumbled bacon and parmesan cheese.
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