Pasta with asparagus and bacon in a brown butter sauce. Jazzed up with lots of flavor from salted bacon, black pepper and Parmesan. A straightforward, hearty dinner ideal for busy weeknights but luxurious enough for a date night. A comforting combination that comes together in about 20 minutes. A truly groovy dish.
This is how we do it. First, we brown the bacon, add asparagus, garlic and pepper. Then we make the brown butter sauce and toss everything together with pasta. Combine with Parmesan and some cooking water to turn it into glossy perfection. The result is amazing, each bite is slicked with a rich and buttery sauce forcing your taste buds to try to keep up.
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO.
- you can use pancetta instead of salted bacon, or leave it out for a vegetarian version
- swap almonds for walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds
- as for the pasta, if you can’t find shells, use orecchiette or any of your favorite shaped pasta that can trap and hold the sauce when it travels from plate to mouth
More pasta, please!
- 200 g/7 oz shaped pasta, like shells or orecchiette
- 150 g/5 oz green asparagus
- 200 g/7 oz salted bacon bits
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 45 g (3 tbsp) salted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp each: crushed chili flakes, salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 30 g/1 oz grated parmesan, more for serving
- crushed chili flakes and black pepper, for serving
- 2 tbsp chopped almonds, for serving (optional)
- Snap off any woody exterior from the bottom of the asparagus. Cut the bigger asparagus in half lengthways then cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon, cook until crispy and golden brown, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add asparagus, sauté, tossing frequently until crispy-tender, for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Transfer to a plate.
- In the same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Stir the butter constantly to keep it moving. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle. Keep stirring, about 3-5 minutes, until the butter starts to turn golden brown. It will smell intensely buttery and nutty. Add bacon and asparagus back to the skillet, stir to combine. Toss with pasta and Parmesan, add 1/4 cup cooking water and stir until pasta is coated.
- Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan, ground pepper and chopped almonds. Enjoy!
Calories Per Serving: 687 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.