Makes 4 to 6 servings
I put the word sprinkles in this title and suddenly asparagus seems like a fun vegetable. I tried this on my tax returns, and my accountant still isn’t talking to me.
2 pounds asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
10 slices pancetta (about 5 ounces)
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the tough ends from the asparagus by lightly bending each stalk until it naturally snaps, leaving you with the tenderest part.
Spread the asparagus on the prepared cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure to give the pan a little shake at the halfway mark.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, fry the pancetta slices in batches of three or four for about 2 minutes. Use metal tongs to turn the pancetta over and cook until they are a light golden brown and just starting to get crispy. Place the cooked pancetta on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess fat. Repeat with the next batch.
Transfer the pancetta to a cutting board and use a large knife to chop it up. Some of the crispier bits will break up naturally. Place the pancetta bits in a medium bowl and add the lemon zest, grated Parmesan, and parsley. Stir to combine.
Remove the asparagus from the oven and arrange on a serving dish. Sprinkle the pancetta mix over the top and serve.