another big hit at easter dinner...ingredients (serves 4):
12 large asparagus spears
4 thin slices of prosciutto
2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing the pan
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1 lemon, quartered (optional)
preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. grease a baking dish large enough to hold the asparagus and set aside.
using a sharp knife, cut off the tough ends of the asparagus. peel the stalks to within about 2 inches of the tips. gather the stalks together and trim off the bottoms so all the asparagus are the same length.
fill a frying pan with just enough water to cover the asparagus when it is added. bring to a boil. add the asparagus spears, overlapping them as little as possible, and cook, uncovered, over high heat until tender but still quite firm, 3-4 minutes (the timing will depend on the thickness of the stalks). drain well. ---i have a trusty asparagus steamer pot. thanks for that, d.
divide the asparagus into 4 bundles of 3 stalks each. wrap 1 prosciutto slice around the center of each bundle. place the 4 bundles in the prepared baking dish. dot with butter, season to taste with pepper and sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan. bake for 5 minutes to brown the cheese. remove from the oven, dust with paprika, and serve hot with the lemon quarters.
*courtesy of williams-sonoma Italian favorites cookbook