Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus is a pretty standard side around our house.  It's easy to prepare, versatile and we love the taste.  Although we aren't opposed to how I normally prepare it, it is nice to have a new twist on a standard side dish.  I try to keep things interesting and changed up from time to time to ensure we don't fall in a rut of eating the same thing day after day, week after week.  Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of times when we have it prepared the same way and that is totally fine, but this time I was ready to give our taste buds a break from the same monotonous steamed or broiled asparagus! 

Pancetta is a staple in a lot of people's pantry; and while it hasn't been a staple in mine in the past I can guarantee it will be now.  Pancetta is similar to bacon but it is salt cured and not smoked.  The taste of pancetta is similar to bacon, but it doesn't really have that smoky flavor and is a little more salty than regular bacon.  Although they are both equally delicious; it's nice to have a change from regular bacon from time to time.  I will definitely keep pancetta on hand for those times when I want a little something different and also so I can try all of those wonderful recipes I've seen that use pancetta.

These pancetta wrapped asparagus bundles were delicious.  Although there's not a whole lot going on, these few ingredients pack in a punch of flavor in every bite.  I loved the combination of the crispy, salty pancetta with the olive oil and the rich flavor of the asparagus.  Roasting them in the oven really gave them a superb flavor; the pancetta was rich in flavor and the asparagus had almost a nutty flavor and together they blended perfectly.  This side is delicious, simple and yet elegant enough to dress up any plate. 
Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus


1 Pound asparagus spears
8-10 slices pancetta, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tspn Kosher salt


Preaheat oven to 375. 

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Gather 3 pieces of asparagus and bundle them, wrap a slice of pancetta around the asparagus spears to hold them together.  Place asparagus bundles, with the pancetta seem-side down, on the prepared cookie sheet.  Continue this process until all asparagus spears are gone.  One all the bundles are complete drizzle with the remaining olive oil

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Once the spears have been in there for 10 minutes, increase the heat to 400 and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Kosher salt and serve.

Recipe Source: Lynsey Original

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