Asparagus Carbonara

Recipe from Happy Fast Food - out now

This is a healthier twist, as we’ve added asparagus.

Serves — 4 people
Prep time — 5
Cooking time — 15


2 golden-yolked eggs (Burford Browns are good and readily available)

2 cloves of garlic, grated

100g Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated

12 cranks of freshly ground black pepper (we know – it’s a lot)

500g dried spaghetti

180g guanciale (Italian cured pork), cut into 1⁄2cm cubes

300g asparagus, woody ends removed (an easy way to do this is to bend each stalk – they will naturally snap where tender), chopped up into 1cm chunks, tips left whole



In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic, cheese and pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water up to the boil. Add the spaghetti, stir, and cook until al dente (1 minute less than the packet instructions).

While the pasta is cooking, place the guanciale in a cold frying pan and bring up to heat over a medium-high heat. You don’t need to add any extra oil because enough fat will render out of the guanciale because you started with a cold pan. Cook until the edges just start to go crispy, about 4–5 minutes.

Add the asparagus to the crispy guanciale and fry in the fat until softened and nicely charred. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the cooking water, and then tip the pasta into the asparagus-guanciale frying pan.

Still off the heat, pour in the egg mixture and toss thoroughly for a couple of minutes, adding the reserved pasta water, little by little, if things get too sticky, until the sauce becomes glossy and creamy and coats the back of the spaghetti. The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs.

Transfer to individual bowls and eat immediately.

We’ve eaten our way around the world, gathering the best fast food recipes as we go, to give you a book of all our favourites made good-for- you. And we’ve played fast and loose with the definition of fast food: yes you’ve got burgers and fries and wraps, but you’ve also got food that you can make fast (and that’ll make you happy) like pastas and salads and ice creams. Because every meal deserves to be an adventure in flavour, we’ve got the classics and we’ve got a few surprises: a Courgette, Walnut & Mint ‘Cheese’ Toastie, a Paneer & Beetroot Wrap, and Roast Garlic Hummus. Let’s celebrate food that’s colourful, delicious and full of micronutrients. And fast.

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