Easy Spring Penne with Asparagus and Guanciale, a lovely dish for spring. If your a pasta lover like us, you will totally enjoy this meal. Penne pasta meat earthy sweet asparagus and crispy salty guanciale, a real tastebud tantalizer this is!
- 300 g penne pasta
- 1 Tbsp evo oil
- 90-100 g guanciale, cut into strips (pancetta also works)
- 1 whole clove garlic
- 1 medium purple cipolline onion sliced
- 290 g (1 bundle) asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into pieces
- salt & pepper to taste
- Pecorino or Parmigiano, freshly grated
- In a medium sauté pan toss in guanciale strips and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes on med to high heat. Take out with a slotted spoon and into a paper towel lined bowl. Set aside. Set pan with juices aside also, we are going to use it to saute the vegetables.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- In the same pan as the one you cooked the guanciale, drizzle in olive oil, add garlic, and onions. Turn to a medium heat and sauté 2 minutes. Add asparagus and sauté for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir. Toss in 3/4 of the crispy guanciale, reserving the rest for garnishing. Turn off heat and set aside.
- While the vegetables are sautéing, toss the penne into the pot of boiling salted water. Cook for about 11 minutes or for the recommended time on the package, minus a couple minutes because we are going to finish the pasta in the pan with the asparagus.
- With a sieve or slotted spoon, scoop the penne and place it with the asparagus in the pan. Turn heat to a medium and also add half a ladle of pasta water. Toss well and cook for roughly 2 minutes or until water has mostly absorbed. Remember, we want to create some kind of a sauce. Turn off heat.
- Sprinkle pasta and asparagus with the rest of the crispy guanciale. Drizzle a touch of evo oil, and dust with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino!
- Ready to serve.
For cheese, you can also use Pecorino. It is stronger and more pungent in flavor, however, very delicious and perfect in this pasta dish!
Guanciale usually can be found at the deli counter of your local Italian market. If you can't find guanciale, which is a salted pork cheek, pancetta will also work.
Always remember to reserve the pasta water, it is a great ingredient to create a flavorful sauce for the pasta, more so, keeping our pasta moist and not dry.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Penne, asparagus, cippolini onions, garlic, Italian cuisine, evo oil, Quanciale,, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pasta,