Baked Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

This recipe is best made with thick asparagus spears; however if all you can find are thin ones, wrap 2-3 spears in each slice of prosciutto. This dish can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. Regardless of the course served with, it always draws praise from my dinner guests.

Prep time: 5 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 25 min

Serves 4

16 large asparagus spears, tough ends removed
salt to taste
16 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the asparagus.
  2. Bring a sauce pan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and salt and cook until the spears are just beginning to bend when lifted by the stem, 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
  3. Wrap each asparagus spear in one slice of prosciutto and place in the baking dish.
  4. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with the cheese and pepper.
  5. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot directly from the dish.