We’ve been on a roll since we did a smoking and curing course with Marsh Pig Salami a few months ago. We’ve been making batches of our own bacon and pancetta and it’s so good I don’t think we’ll ever go back to shop-bought.
Our first pancetta has just finished curing and I couldn’t think of a better way to use it than to wrap it round our home-grown asparagus. Any wafer-thin pancetta works, though I think smoked is nicest, but you can just as easily use thinly sliced streaky bacon.
PS: since I first posted this I’ve re-made it with the addition of a few drops of truffled rapeseed oil from Suffolk producer Scarlett and Mustard and it adds a whole new dimension. I’ve amended the recipe accordingly.
18 spears of asparagus
6 thin slices of smoked pancetta or streaky bacon
Freshly-ground black pepper
Truffled rapeseed oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Wash and trim the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and pat dry on kitchen roll.
Drizzle with a little olive oil then bundle up three spears and wind a strip of pancetta or bacon up around the stems. Keep going until you have six packages.
Grind over a little black pepper and roast for around 15-20 minutes or until the thick part of the stems can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife and the pancetta is crisping up.
You can add a little shaved parmesan to serve but really it’s just gilding the lily. However, a few drops of truffled rapeseed oil added just before serving is delicious.