Asparagus Carbonara Recipe by Michael Gardenia

When our friends Michael (@lammaigal) and Nicole (@nicolemcl_) were visiting Amsterdam, we had a little lunch with our mutual friend Marieke (@verdenius) in her studio. Michael made Asparagus Carbonara for us using local ingredients. In this article we share the recipe, along with the tips he gave us.

[Ingredients] (For 4 people)

  • 320g Spaghetti
  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 120g Grated pecorino cheese
  • 400g Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper


    1. Wash, dry and halve the asparagus. Boil the bottom of the asparagus, which is the hardest part of the vegetable. Put them in a saucepan with water and a handful of salt to make a broth in which to cook the pasta.

  1. Cut the tops of the asparagus into thin slices. Heat a frying pan with a generous amount of ground black pepper to enhance the flavour. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and cook the asparagus for 5 minutes, until soft but still crunchy.
    1. Add a pinch of salt.

    1. Put the spaghetti in the boiling water with the asparagus bottoms and cook for one minute less than the recommended time.

    1. In the meantime, separate the 5 egg yolks in a large bowl larger than the pasta pot. Keep the whites for other recipes. Mix the egg yolks with the grated pecorino cheese.

    1. Once mixed, add a few tablespoons of boiling water from the pasta pot to the bowl to make a creamy sauce.

  1. Drain the spaghetti (leaving the water in the pot) and add to the sauce. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan and start mixing in a bain-marie (water bath) over a very low heat. This stage is very important as it keeps the pasta warm and makes the recipe safer as it pasteurizes the eggs. Be careful not to heat the mixture directly in the pan, as it could cook and turn into a frittata!

Tip: Save the boiling water in case the spaghetti absorbs a lot of the sauce. You can then add more water to make it creamier. It is best to make the sauce more liquid than necessary as it will get drier as it cools.

  1. After a few minutes of mixing, add the roasted asparagus tips and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix and serve. If you'd like, grind some black pepper and sprinkle some pecorino on top for extra flavour.

Buon appetito!



Recipe by @lammaigal
Photos by @verdenius