If you watch Rachael Ray, you’ll know that she loves a good carbonara. And so do I! I was really drawn to this recipe when I saw it mainly because I had everything on hand. She used prosciutto, but I had some leftover ham in the fridge, and this was a great way to use it up. I didn’t quite have enough, but it was still delicious. This was delicious and fresh and tasted like spring!
Asparagus, Ham and Egg Pasta
adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray May 2010
salt and pepper
1 pound pasta
1 pound thin asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces on an angle
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound diced ham
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
3 egg yolks, beaten
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (a generous handful)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Add the asparagus in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the wine or broth and cook until reduced slightly, 1 minute. Lower the heat to the lowest setting.
In a medium bowl, combine the reserved pasta cooking water and the beaten egg yolks to temper the eggs. Add the drained pasta to the ham mixture in the skillet. Season with the cheese, thyme, lemon peel and pepper. Pour in the egg mixture and toss vigorously to thicken the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.