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Asparagus Cellantani Carbonara

Asparagus Cellantani Carbonara

I know carbonara is supposed to be made with spaghetti, but I was just dying to use my cellentani … I have to admit … I bought this pasta because I thought they were beautiful. I mean look at those wild swirls! And I loved the name. Cellantani. Isn’t that a romantic name? It makes me dream of wild, romantic nights in Italia. I wanted these gorgeous corkscrew pasta shapes on my table, and imagined what I might pair them with.

Asparagus Cellantani Carbonara

Asparagus Cellantani Carbonara

Adapted from the Foodie Physician.

Makes about 2 servings.

  • 1 cup dry cellantani pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic + the garlic scapes, snipped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked lean ham (or canadian bacon, something salty like bacon, but leaner)
  • 1/2 of a medium tomato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan + a little extra to sprinkle on top
  • Fresh basil & oregano leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper & sea salt


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. While the water is heating, wash the asparagus and set it on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with Red Robin (or Red Magic) seasoning … or your favorite seasoning mix …  and spray with cooking spray. Roast the asparagus in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes or until crisp tender. Tend to the other things, but when the asparagus is done, take it out of the oven and set it aside.
  2. When the water is boiling, add the pasta to cook.
  3. Now, while they are cooking, peel and chop the garlic, then chop the tomato and ham.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
  5. When the pasta is nearly done, skim off 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Add about a tablespoon of the hot water to the egg mixture and whisk.
  6. Strain the hot cooked pasta in a colander.
  7. Take the hot pan you cooked the pasta in and over medium high heat, add the oil, chopped garlic, and ham and sautee for just a couple minutes, then add the tomato and asparagus and sautee briefly to cook out the juices from the tomato. Add the hot cooked pasta and the egg/cheese mixture. Remove from heat and stir. The egg should finish cooking from the heat of the pasta and make a nice light creamy sauce. If the sauce needs more liquid, add a little of the hot pasta water you saved.
  8. Sprinkle with herbs, more parmesan and the reserved garlic scapes, season with salt & freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.

Asparagus Cellantani Carbonara

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Full Plate ThursdaysTastetastic Thursdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.

16 responses

  1. LOVE this Ann!! Pretty pictures too:)

    April 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    • Ann

      Thank you Lauren:)

      April 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

  2. Ann, this looks fantastic! Thanks for the mention, I’m honored:)

    April 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    • Ann

      Thanks for the recipe! I am so glad to know you:)

      April 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

  3. I had never seen – or heard of – cellantani until today! And yes! What a beautiful, romantic name to go with beautiful pasta:) You have definitely taken carbonara to an entirely new level… brava! xoxo

    April 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    • Ann

      I hadn’t heard the word before, but I’d seen the pasta … and when I saw it at the store, I just couldn’t resist! Thank you once again, Michele. You are so sweet.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

  4. So beautiful and fresh looking!

    April 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    • Ann

      Thanks, Crunchy! That means a lot to me, coming from you. Your food is always so beautiful.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

  5. This does look delicious and I love the corkscrew shape. And asparagus is so good and plentiful now. I have to admit I would be tempted to use Prosciutto, but that’s just me. I always rationalize it by thinking nothing carved so thin can have too much fat!!!

    April 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    • Ann

      I think prosciutto would be fabulous … I just happen to still have a lot of ham to use so ham it was for me. If you try it with prosciutto, let me know how you like it!

      April 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

  6. I would love a plate of this. When is dinner?

    April 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

  7. Funny, I have Sonali’s recipe on the menu for Saturday night. Already put all of the items I need on the grocery list for tomorrow. Sounds amazing! And I love your pasta. I’m going to have to go with whatever gluten-free pasta shapes I can find.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    • Ann

      You are so good at planning ahead! I just make things up willy nilly as I go along. Sonali’s recipe is wonderful btw. You’re gonna love it:)

      April 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      • Well, I try to get all of my grocery shopping on one of the two mornings my little guy goes to school, so I try to plan at least a few days ahead. Otherwise I’d be at the store everyday!

        April 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

  8. My hubby and I adore asparagus, and try to find new ways to enjoy it! This looks gorgeous:-) Hugs, Terra

    April 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    • Ann

      Yay I’m so glad you like it. I was just entranced with the curly pasta … it’s the little things in life, right?

      April 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

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