Eggs make a silky sauce for the pasta in this classic dish. It gets a nutrition upgrade by swapping in whole-grain spaghetti for white pasta and trading bacon for smoky Gouda, which imparts that “meaty” flavor that bacon usually brings to the mix. Asparagus adds color, crunch, and vitamins and minerals.

Heath April 2021


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Using a fork, beat egg yolks in a small bowl until combined. Stir in cheese and salt.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain, reserving 1 1/4 cups cooking water.

  • While pasta cooks, heat oil in a deep, large skillet over medium. Cook asparagus, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes, adding garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper during final minute of cook time. Remove from heat.

  • Add drained pasta to asparagus mixture in skillet. Very slowly whisk 1 cup reserved cooking water into egg mixture in bowl. Slowly pour egg mixture into pasta mixture in skillet, stirring constantly using tongs. Cook pasta mixture over low, stirring, until sauce is creamy and coats noodles, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Add additional reserved cooking liquid, 2 tablespoons at a time, if needed to maintain creamy consistency. Divide pasta evenly among 4 bowls.

Nutrition Facts

488 calories; fat 18g; cholesterol 246mg; sodium 627mg; carbohydrates 67g; dietary fiber 10g; protein 21g; sugars 4g; saturated fat 6g.