Total cost: $5.59
In a medium-sized pot over high heat, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Salt the water liberally, until it tastes like the sea.
Add the spaghetti and lower the heat to medium-high heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just under al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, shave the asparagus into long strips with a vegetable peeler.
Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and then add the olive oil. Heat until shimmering then add the chopped garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add the asparagus strips and mix, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the pasta and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and incorporate the butter into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.