I made Ina Garten's spring spaghetti carbonara and had dinner ready in 30 minutes

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I made Ina Garten's spring green spaghetti carbonara and had dinner ready in 30 minutes.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider
  • I made Ina Garten's spring green spaghetti carbonara to celebrate the new season.

  • The pasta features pancetta, peas, asparagus, and Parmesan cheese.

  • I loved how light and creamy the pasta was — it's the perfect easy spring dinner.

April showers bring May flowers — and plenty of new dishes to cook. And if you're looking for a quick and easy pasta that's as bright as the new season, look no further than Ina Garten's spring green spaghetti carbonara.

"Spaghetti carbonara is true Italian comfort food, but it's incredibly rich," Garten writes in her "Modern Comfort Food" cookbook. "I updated it with lots of fresh green vegetables like English peas, snow peas, and asparagus."

Garten's spring green spaghetti carbonara is ready in 30 minutes — a perfect quick weeknight dinner that will still impress your family and friends.

Here's how to make it.

Ina Garten's spring carbonara pasta comes packed with plenty of veggies.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
Garten's spring carbonara includes asparagus, chives, and two types of peas.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

To make Garten's spring green spaghetti carbonara for six, you'll need:

  • 12 ounces of spaghetti (she recommends De Cecco)

  • 8 ounces of small-diced pancetta

  • 1 cup of shelled fresh peas or frozen peas

  • ½ pound of snow peas

  • 12-14 thin asparagus (bottom third discarded)

  • 5 scallions

  • ¼ cup of fresh chives

  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)

  • ½ cup of heavy cream

  • 2 extra-large eggs

  • 2 extra-large egg yolks

  • ¾ cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese

It should be noted that I made Garten's pasta for three people, so I split her measurements in half.

I always do all my prep before I start cooking — a lesson I learned the hard way the first time I tried to make a carbonara.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
First, I prepped my asparagus and spring onions.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Once you really get cooking with a carbonara, things need to be mixed together very quickly to achieve maximum creaminess (and to ensure you won't be eating any raw egg).

This time around, I wanted to make sure I had every single step prepped so that I wouldn't be stressed once it was time to put the pasta together.

To start, I cut my asparagus into two-inch pieces and diagonally sliced my scallions, as Garten had instructed.

I also prepped the snow peas and chives.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
Then, I cut my snow peas and minced my chives.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I julienned the snow peas, following Garten's recipe, and minced my chives.

I also got my lemon ready to go.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I separated the zest and juice from my lemon.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I zested the lemon first, then juiced it. Since different parts of the lemon are required for different steps, I made sure to put the zest and juice in separate bowls.

My last step of prep was filling a large bowl with hot tap water.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I heated a large bowl with the hottest tap water.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Garten recommends using "the hottest tap water" to help heat the bowl, which is where you'll later mix the pasta with the carbonara sauce.

Per her instructions, I set the full bowl aside while I cooked the pasta and pancetta. Garten says you should only pour the hot water out of the bowl "just before you drain the pasta."

It was time to get cooking! First, I got my pancetta going.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I cooked my pancetta for around eight minutes.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I drizzled some olive oil into a sauté pan over medium heat and then added the pancetta, which I cooked for around eight minutes.

Garten recommends stirring your pancetta occasionally and cooking until it's browned. Once your pancetta is ready, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

As my pancetta cooked, I started on my pasta.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I had the pasta boiling while I cooked the pancetta.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I brought a large pot of salted water to a boil, then added my spaghetti. I cooked the pasta for eight minutes, stirring the noodles occasionally.

Once the eight minutes were up, I saved a cup of the pasta water and then added some of the veggies.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I added the asparagus, peas, and snow peas to the pasta.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I put the pasta water aside — which is important for the carbonara sauce — then threw my snow peas, frozen peas, and asparagus into the spaghetti, letting them cook together for two more minutes.

Just before I drained my pasta, I prepped the carbonara sauce.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I whisked together my cream, egg, and egg yolk for the sauce.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I dumped the hot tap water out of the bowl, then added the cream, egg, egg yolk, and some of the pasta water — Garten recommends using ¼ cup if you're making this dish for six — and used a whisk to mix everything together.

After two minutes were up, I drained my spaghetti and veggies.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I drained my pasta after it cooked for 10 minutes total.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

It was time to turn this pasta into a spaghetti carbonara!

I added my noodles and veggies to the bowl with the carbonara sauce.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
Then I added the pasta to the sauce, along with the rest of the veggies.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I tossed everything together with tongs for a minute, making sure the spaghetti absorbed the sauce. I also added just a bit more pasta water to help keep the sauce creamy.

Then, I threw in the rest of the ingredients.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I topped everything off with the pancetta and Parmesan cheese.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I added the Parmesan cheese to the pasta, as well as the pancetta, scallions, chives, lemon zest, and lemon juice, along with some salt and pepper.

After giving everything a good toss, I admired the bright and pretty pasta dish.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I gave everything a good toss before serving.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

It's easy to see why Garten wants to make this pasta for her friends in the spring. The green of the veggies and the red of the pancetta pop really nicely against the spaghetti, making this pasta very Instagram-friendly.

You can also make a huge serving of this dish in no time at all. Even though I split Garten's measurements in half, we still had more than enough food for three people. And the entire dish took less than 30 minutes to make, with most of the cooking time just spent on prep.

I added some extra chives and Parmesan before serving the carbonara — which everyone loved.

Ina Garten Spring Carbonara Pasta
I sprinkled extra chives on top before serving to give the pasta another burst of color.Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I won't lie, I was a little apprehensive of this dish when I first read the recipe. I'm a huge fan of Garten's comforting red-sauce pastas, and her spring carbonara seemed, well, a little too green.

But I was pleasantly surprised. The carbonara sauce is creamy without being too heavy, and it's balanced perfectly with the fresh flavors from all the veggies. The pancetta also adds a nice crunch and umami to the pasta — I only wish there had been a bit more of it!

I served the dish to my parents, who both loved it as well. My dad called it "light and lemony," while my mom thought it'd be ideal for a barbecue.

"I'd never think to put all of these things together, but they tasted very good," she added. "It's light and refreshing."

Overall, this was definitely one of my favorites among Garten's lighter pasta dishes, and I think it's perfect for a spring dinner party. The carbonara sauce — and all those pretty veggies — makes it feel a little more special.

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