John said that this was the best pasta dish that he has ever had. While I don't think I can say that, I can say that it is high on my list. The type of pasta that you use makes a huge difference. Seriously, I don't work for the pasta co so I'm not saying it for their benefit. I bought dried pasta, in nests & it was made in Italy. I read in a pasta cookbook that the very best pasta is homemade not the 'fresh' stuff in the refrigerated isle of the grocery store. If you don't want to make it yourself then you should buy dried, but make sure it is from Italy. I suspect that if you bought fresh from an Italian market or restaurant that makes it daily that would count as 'homemade'.
1 lb (or a little less) fresh Asparagus, cut in 1" pieces, discarding the tough ends
1/2 Red Onion, chopped fine
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5 slices of bacon, chopped about in 1" pieces
4 tbsp butter
1 c Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper
Cook asparagus in a pot of boiling, salted water, until tender about 3-5 minutes. Drain, rinse well with cold water & cool completely. Reserve for later. In chef's pan (large enough to hold all the pasta & the sauce), cook bacon & drain. Reserve for later. Poor off as much of the bacon fat as possible from the pan. Add the butter to the pan & melt. Add the onions & cook over medium heat until soft. Then add the garlic & continue to cook 1 minute. Add the cream & reduce heat to low. Let the sauce cook to thicken (keep an eye on it, you don't want it to boil). Meanwhile, bring water in a pot to a boil to cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water & season with salt. I didn't make the whole package, which was a lb of pasta. I did made more than half of it though & we had leftovers. Cook according to the package directions, I think it was about 5 minutes. (Make sure not to over cook or it will be mushy!) Add the asparagus to the cream sauce just before the pasta is finished. Strain the pasta with a spider or tongs & add directly into the sauce pan. Stir to coat then add the bacon & some pepper. (I didn't add any additional salt because of the bacon, pasta, & Parmesan.) Plate immediately & generously coat with freshly grated Parmesan.