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Carbonara-Style Tagliatelle with Grilled Asparagus and Lemon-Herb Breadcrumbs

Carbonara-Style Tagliatelle with Grilled Asparagus and Lemon-Herb Breadcrumbs


  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus more for drizzling

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1/3 pound pancetta, finely diced

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 3 organic, free-range egg yolks (look for the Araucana variety for the strongest color and flavor)

  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle

  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly drizzle the asparagus with EVOO, then grill until charred, evenly marked and tender, 7-10 minutes. Cut into 1-inch pieces on an angle, or thinly slice if the asparagus is thick. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter into the EVOO; when it foams, stir in the lemon zest, then add the breadcrumbs and stir until moistened. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are deep golden. Stir in the chives and parsley and remove from the heat. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and 2 teaspoons pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1-2 more minutes, then add the wine and reduce the heat to low. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta and beat it into the egg yolks to temper them. Add the asparagus to the pancetta mixture and heat through. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the asparagus and pancetta. Pour the egg mixture over the top, turn off the heat and toss for 1 minute, adding the cheese in the last few seconds. Divide the pasta among shallow bowls and top with lots of the lemon-herb breadcrumbs.