Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables
Loaded with spring vegetables tossed in a creamy, cheesy sauce, this Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables makes for a delicious comfort food meal!
Ah, spaghetti carbonara. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Ok, Elizabeth Barrett Browning might not have had spaghetti carbonara in mind when she wrote her famous sonnet. However, the words totally apply if you ask me! Carbonara is delicious, and it’s truly one of my favorite pasta dishes.
If you told me to mix uncooked eggs into a pasta dish, my younger self would’ve run away screaming. However, my present self would eat spaghetti carbonara every night if he was allowed. (Of course, that would require a lot more exercising, too!)
In truth, the egg mixture gets added into a very hot bowl filled with steaming hot pasta. As a result, the eggs get cooked indirectly. My younger self didn’t understand that. My present self does. I actually find it pretty cool that the pasta water is repurposed in this recipe – it helps heat the bowl which in turn cooks the egg mixture. Kinda cool!
Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables
As with most Italian recipes, Spaghetti Carbonara requires only a few ingredients. Pasta, eggs, hard cheese, cured pork and pepper. That’s it. Those ingredients come together to create an amazing creation – flavorful pasta covered with a creamy sauce. I might’ve licked my plate after dinner the other night. It’s that good. (I also have no shame.)
For this Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables recipe, I used bucatini instead of spaghetti. Bucatini is very similar to spaghetti, but it is has a hole running through the center. While carbonara is typically made with spaghetti, I happened to stumble across a box of bucatini in the grocery store. If you can’t find bucatini, you can certainly use thick spaghetti or even fettuccini. I do recommend a thicker pasta here, though.) Angel hair would not be the idea choice as carbonara sauce is a bit heavier.)
I also added a spring twist to this recipe by throwing in all sorts of green veggies. Sugar snap peas, asparagus, chives, garden peas. All sorts of green went into this recipe! I found this spring version of carbonara to be rather fun…and delicious. The same carbonara sauce that coats the pasta also coated the veggies in this recipe. Yum!
I still remember the time when we were visiting Laura’s uncle, and he told me to open the smoker in the backyard. He had a twinkle in his eye, so I knew he was up to something. I opened the smoker to find a pig’s head staring back at me. Ok, that was a bit of a shock.
So how does that pig head relate to carbonara? Traditionally, carbonara is made with guanciale which is smoked pig jowl. I can’t find guanciale in my area, and we have a lot of Italian specialty grocers here.
I suspect you can only get guanciale in Italy…or you could make it in your backyard like Laura’s uncle. While I do love to smoke all sorts of things, I’ll take a hard pass on the pig’s head. Pancetta is a common substitute, and it’s not too difficult to find pancetta here in the US. If all else fails, bacon can be used in place of the guanciale or pancetta.
I do hope you put this Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables recipe on the menu soon. It’s the epitome of winter comfort food, but with a fun spring vibe! Enjoy!
Did you make a batch of this Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Spaghetti Carbonara with Spring Vegetables
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated, plus more for serving
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper plus more for serving
- 8 oz. pancetta or guanciale diced into ¼” cubes (can substitute bacon in a pinch)
- 12 ounces thick spaghetti
- 8 oz. sugar snap peas sliced lengthwise
- 8 oz. asparagus trimmed and sliced into 2” pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Using a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, Parmesan, Pecorino and pepper; set aside. (Tip: Do this first to allow egg mixture to come to room temperature before using it later in the recipe.)
- Using a large skillet, add the pancetta and place over medium heat; cook for 7-8 minutes or until browned. (Once pancetta is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.)
- Meanwhile, fill a large stock pot with 6 quarts of water and salt liberally; bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add spaghetti and cook for 7 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
- Add snow peas, asparagus and frozen peas to the pot with the pasta; continue cooking for 3 more minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and drain remaining pasta water into a large serving bowl. (Note: This is done to warm the serving bowl, and the water will be poured out before using the bowl. Since the egg mixture is added once the dish is removed from the heat, a warm serving bowl helps cook the eggs.)
- Transfer cooked spaghetti, snow peas, asparagus and peas into the skillet with the cooked pancetta. Add ¼ cup of reserved pasta water; stir until well combined and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water.
- Drain the water from the large serving bowl. Transfer pasta, pancetta and vegetables from the skillet into the hot bowl. Add the egg mixture; stir until well combined. Continue stirring until a creamy sauce forms. (The heat from the pasta and bowl will cook the eggs. If the mixture becomes too thick, add an additional splash of reserved pasta water.)
- Stir in chives and divide into serving bowls. Before serving, top liberally with freshly ground black pepper and additional Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Looking for more tasty pasta recipes? Check out these other classics, too:
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cant wait to maake this soon for me can i use vegan cheeses and mushrooms and skip frozen and sugar snap peas as am not a big fan of frozen and sugar snap peas i never had spaghetti carbonara with spring vegetables before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
You can absolutely adjust this recipe to your tastes, Ramya – that’s the fun part about cooking! I hope you enjoy carbonara…it’s truly delicious!
David, I can’t wait to try your recipe for a fresh and healthy change with pasta.I love all those green seasonal vegetables mixed through , I’ll pass on the pigs head though, ha, ha. Thanks for the inspiration.
To be fair, I’m not sure I would call carbonara “healthy,” but it is mighty delicious, Pauline! And the spring veggies are fun after a long winter. 🙂
This is fabulous. Love your photos. I like that you used three vegetables, and bucatini!
I was so happy that I found bucatini in the store, Mimi! Talk about a lucky find!! 🙂
this looks very attractive david. i love all the veg. in it. It’s clever isn’t it how the eggs get cooked in the heat of the pan?
Carbonara truly is a fun dish like that – the bowl does double-duty in not only holding the pasta but helping to cook the eggs, too! Thanks, Sherry! 🙂
One of my sons loves carbonara — this is such a beautiful spring variation on it! Love the addition of the snap peas 🙂
Thanks, Michelle – I love carbonara, too! It’s comfort food at its best, and this version was fun with all the spring veggies! 🙂
Nothing like a good carbonara and I love how this version is a balance of decadent and fresh! Perfect for spring!
Thanks, Marissa! This was a fun way to take an old favorite (carbonara) and brighten it up a bit for the season!
I used to be a bit sceptical about the egg part of carbonara too, but as an grown-up and sometimes even wise (haha) person, I understand that I was so silly. (And that I need to work hard to catch up on all those plates of carbonara I could have eaten!) LOL
Loving this spring variation – so beautiful and tasty!
Same here, Ben! I like to sometimes think that I am wise (on a rare occasion), and I’ve realized my younger self was missing out on carbonara. I think the fact that I ate it in Italy before realizing how it was cooked made a difference for me. Now let’s make up for lost time!
David, I’m with you, I could eat carbonara every day as well if my doctor would allow it. What a refreshing take on a classic recipe. We’ll have to give this one a try. Luckily guanciale is available here for special occasions (it’s bloody expensive), but usually, we use Swedish pre-cubed cured (unsmoked) bacon which is very reasonably priced.
BTY, have you ever tried making carbonara using fatty smoked hog jowls? They were really available in Kentucky and made a nice carbonara.
It truly is a cruel fate that we cannot eat carbonara every day, right? I love it! I’m impressed that guanciale is even available over there – it’s literally a no-go here. Of course, if it was bloody expensive, I would probably end up opting for unsmoked bacon, too!
So I’m intrigued by the fatty smoked hog jowl. I think that’s what guanciale is, right? North Carolina produces a lot of pork…I wonder if guanciale might be more available down there. (I doubt it!)