This Weeknight Pasta Recipe Has Us Forgetting About Takeout

Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
By Kristen Miglore

Every week — often with your help — Food52's Senior Editor, Kristen Miglore, is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

Today's recipe features a mashup of all the best pasta sauces — tomato, asparagus, and carbonara — with surprisingly harmonious results. 

Related: How To Prep Asparagus

As Food52er monkeymom pointed out when she sent me this recipe, this is essentially a highly adaptable pantry pasta supper, with the addition of fresh asparagus (which we never, ever tire of). It's a fast and delicious weeknight dinner, and if you should happen to have leftovers, it makes for a pretty awesome lunch the next day.
Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Craig Claiborne's Pasta Con Asparagi
Adapted slightly from The New New York Times Cookbook 
Serves 8 

1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus
3 tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, put through a sieve or grated coarsely
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
3/4 pounds penne, rigatoni, or other tubular pasta
2 eggs, plus one yolk, beaten well with a fork
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Have all the ingredients for this recipe prepared and ready to cook before beginning. Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil and have it ready for the pasta. 

2. Cut the asparagus into lengths about 2 inches long. If the stalks are thick, cut them in half or quarter them. Leave the tips intact. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet and add the asparagus pieces, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender and lightly browned. Transfer the asparagus to a plate and reserve. 

3. In the same pan, add the oil and garlic. Cook until lightly browned and remove and discard garlic. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add the pasta and salt to the water and, when it returns to a boil, cook for about 7 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. 

5. Just before the pasta is done, turn off the heat under the tomatoes and add the beaten eggs, stirring vigorously so that they blend without curdling. Do not boil the sauce after the eggs are added. (If you are nervous about curdling the eggs, you may temper them in, by stirring a ladleful of the hot tomato sauce into the eggs, then whisking the mixture back into the pan.)

6. Add the asparagus to the tomato sauce and stir to blend. 

7. Drain the pasta immediately. Add the tomato sauce and asparagus, and toss with half the cheese. Serve piping hot with the remaining cheese on the side.      

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