Wild asparagus are a late spring treat for the forager in Tuscany. With their more delicate flavour, they can be used in many dishes at this time of the year – from a simple frittata to an uplifting weekend brunch. They are a great companion to fresh eggs and so this recipe is a perfect way to combine the two.

Carbonara agli Asparagi – Wild Asparagus Carbonara

We’re lucky that wild asparagus grows spontaneously in the fields around Montecalvi, but if you can’t get hold of it, normal fine asparagus will work as well.  Likewise, if you can’t find tagliolini, spaghetti is a good substitute.

Serves 4

  • 500g       Tagliolini
  • 350g       Wild asparagus
  • 50g         Grated pecorino or parmesan (plus more to serve)
  • 5             Eggs:      4 egg yolks plus a whole egg
  • 4 tbsp     Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Set a large pan of salted water to boil for the pasta.

Meanwhile, wash the asparagus carefully and chop in to pieces of about 3cm. Blanche in boiling water for around 2 minutes (add a couple of minutes if you are using bigger spears of asparagus). Set aside.

Then in a bowl, add 4 egg yolks and one whole egg. Beat roughly with a fork and season with salt and pepper.  Then add the grated cheese to the eggs.  And finally add the cooked asparagus.

Once the tagliolini are cooked, lift them out of the water and add to the eggs, combining with tongs to ensure they are well coated.  The heat of the pasta will ‘cook’ the eggs.  If it looks as if things are drying up, add a bit of pasta water.

Check the seasoning, probably adding more ground black pepper to make it a real ‘carbonara’ and serve immediately with grated parmesan to hand and a final swirl of our olive oil.

This dish will work superbly with our new Alta Valle della Greve 2016