Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon

Last week I was up at the swim centre watching the little guy pound up and down the black line as usual.  While he did his laps I was thinking about the meal I was going to cook for dinner.  And I was totally prepared and organised as I knew I had an organic free-range chicken in the fridge ready for the oven.

Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon

Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon

As soon as we walked in through the door from swim squads I was going to rub a herb butter under the skin, stuff it with a lemon then roast it and serve with a simple salad.  Perfect.

Quick and easy

Quick and easy

Alas.  We walked through the door and I went to the fridge to collect my organic chicken only to discover it was past its use-by date.  When did that happen.  Such a waste!

An economical family meal

An economical family meal

And now I had nothing for dinner.

A mid-week meal

A mid-week meal

I really didn’t want to order takeaway so I thought about what else I could cook.  I always have pasta and pretty much always have bacon and then I found some asparagus I’d steamed the night before but hadn’t used.  With a lemon, some garlic, a touch of chilli and some freshly grated parmesan, dinner was sorted. the pasta received rave reviews.  I loved it as well as it’s quite light and refreshing and very simple, quick, easy and economical just like a lot of well-loved Italian dishes.’ve re-created the pasta so you can enjoy it for a quick and easy mid-week meal.  If asparagus isn’t in season in your part of the world, you can always substitute peas or snow peas.

5.0 from 9 reviews
Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A delightful mid-week meal that's quick, easy and economical.
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • tsp dried chilli flakes (more or less as per taste buds)
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 slices streaky bacon, cut into batons
  • 400gm spaghetti
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off and spears cut into 3cm lengths
  • freshly grated parmesan to serve
  1. In a small saucepan combine olive oil, garlic, chilli and lemon rind. Stir over low heat until garlic is softened but not browned. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  2. In a small frying pan, fry bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towel.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add salt then add spaghetti and cook until almost cooked. Add asparagus, return to the boil then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.
  4. Pour spaghetti, asparagus and remaining cooking water into a serving bowl and pour over olive oil mixture and lemon juice. Season. Toss to combine, then serve. Top with bacon and then parmesan cheese.
  5. Serve with a green salad if desired.


  1. I love pasta dishes like this. Simple, nourishing, light, savory. Lovely. 🙂

  2. Such a simple and yet so delicious dish, Charlie xx

  3. Ugh, I’ve done the same thing with a whole organic chicken! It’s heart wrenching…they are so expensive. The pasta dish is perfect and simple! I was just thinking last night that I’m in a dinner rut and I need to gather up some new and easy ideas. This is perfect, I just printed it out and it will definitely be on our future dinner menu. 🙂

  4. nice save – I must get into asparagus season or it will be gone before I know it

  5. This kind of dish is right up my alley. A perfect and delicious weeknight meal!! Chili flakes are the perfect spice for this.

  6. This ticks all my boxes – fast, fresh, simple and tasty. Yum!

  7. So glad you opted not to order food and made this – because this pasta and asparagus and bacon dish looks and sounds way, way more delicious than take-out!

  8. I would definitely eat this. The husband? Not. Silly man does not like asparagus.

  9. A shame about the chicken but the yummy pasta dish would have made me happy too.

  10. Hi Charlie, well you certainly are quick on your feet, way to go, looks delicious!

  11. Oh no what a shame about the chicken. But pasta sounds like the perfect meal to have after a swim squad to feed the hungry ones in the house. You can’t go wrong with anything bacon anyway 🙂

  12. Well, Charlie Louie: you talked about that organic chicken quite a few times on various blogs and then FORGOT it in the freezer: ma’am, you are a busy gal!! And you really SO have a love affair with asparagus this, a fantastic spring hereabouts, this year 🙂 ! Love asparagus, love pasta . . .shall copy . . . be well and don’t overwork . . .!!!

    • I do hope you try this pasta while asparagus is in season, Eha. And yes, I’ll be taking a little break during the upcoming school holidays. Might even get down to the Highlands!

  13. This dish looks delicious!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Gourmet Getaways

  14. Some of the best meals are born out of desperation. It’s amazing how we can always pull together a meal if we have to. Shame about the chicken though.

  15. Oh yes the price of organic chicken! We try to only buy organic but it is expensive. Once Mr NQN didn’t bother eating the chicken dish I popped in the microwave for him and I got cross because it was about $10 worth of chicken in just that dish!

  16. Winner of a meal Charlie – the simpler the better.
    Have a happy day,.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  17. Well that was a very impressive, quick recovery … looks delicious too … will definitely give this recipe a go! x

  18. The dish looks delicious and pasta is always a favorite in our house. I like being able to put dishes together from items on hand like you did with this. You can come up with some interesting meals that way.

  19. oooh, hate it when fresh produce goes to waste – esp pricey organic chook! You did so well coming up with this winner of a meal for Plan B, it would have been scrambled eggs here 🙂

  20. You are very clever to make something that wonderful without any planning. Well done to you!

    I can’t imagine that you let a chicken go off. That’s not like you at all. 🙂

  21. Looks wonderful. The chicken would have been good, too, but you certainly came through with a yummy dinner with no planning!

  22. Brilliant last-minute save, Charlie! I’m constantly checking expiration dates to make the most of fresh produce, but sometimes one gets away from you. (I hate when that happens, too!) What a lovely, yummy meal in spite of things. Thank you!

  23. Mmmm – asparagus, so hanging out for it – if only the weather warm up a bit:-)

  24. I’m going to steal this recipe and add some other garden veggies in, can’t wait! Thank you!

  25. This dish is 100% better than take out.

  26. I feel your pain!! I just did that the other day >.< But this dish looks soo good, so it didn't matter anyways 😉

  27. We had roast chicken tonight, but I think I’d rather have your pasta! GREAT dinner on the fly!

  28. What a great emergency meal. If only my husband weren’t vegetarian…

  29. that sounds delish. i love asparagus! great to have a simple and quick meal like this.

  30. The lemon infusion into these ingredients would really do it for me! I get so upset with myself when I end up wasting good ingredients because time gets away from me. I’m sure you were very disappointed in wasting the chicken but you definitely turned the meal around with this lovely pasta dish! Yummy!

  31. Terrific simple easy pasta combo!

  32. What a bugger about that chicken Charlie! Lucky you whipped up such a yummy dinner instead, great thinking. My home grown asparagus is going crazy and I can barely keep up with picking it xo

  33. I have to say that happens to me more than i would like. still, Mum comes to the rescue ( again). i could eat it all right now.

  34. What a great save! Simple pasta dishes like this are the best and how could one go wrong with bacon. 🙂 Sorry about the chicken.

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