Once upon a time, I lived in Rome. I studied abroad in Italy for a semester during my days at Penn State. It was a wonderful 4 months, in which every aspect of my life was distilled down to the bare essentials, with no car, no cell phone, and only a basic working knowledge of the Italian language. Some beautiful things happened during my months in Roma – not the least of which was having access to absolutely fresh food in local markets, and the resultant lessons I learned in simple, tasteful cooking.
It seems fitting to relate my time in Italy to a dish with decidedly Italian influences. Prosciutto is a very salty cured ham that is sliced very thin. It makes an excellent compliment to sweet and savory flavors with its salty bite. In fact, a quintessential Italian dish is wrapping cantaloupe with prosciutto: Prosciutto e melone. Mmmm, it brings back good memories. Here we will be lightly sauteing asparagus in a bit of olive oil, adding in some roasted yellow peppers, wrapping it all up in a slice of prosciutto, and topping with a little bit of zested parmesean cheese (one of the few recipes here in which you’ll see us use dairy.)
- 1/3 lb Prosciutto, sliced thinly
- 1 bundle (1 lb) of Asparagus
- 1 small jar of organic roasted yellow pepper
- 1 tablespoon of finely shredded parmesean (if desired)
- Olive oil for sauteing
- Cracked Pepper
- Wash and cut asparagus to length. To determine the correct length of asparagus, simply bend it in half like a stick until it breaks. If you want to do the pile in a hurry, lay this broken piece down as a guide and chop all the rest at once.
- Heat nonstick skillet to medium heat.
- Toss the cut pieces of asparagus with olive oil in bowl, then add to the skillet.
- Saute the asparagus until slightly tender.
- Cut the asparagus into approx 2″ lengths, or about as long as your prosciutto is wide. (see the photo below)
- Lay out a slice of prosciutto, place approx 12 pieces of asparagus and 1 or 2 pieces of roasted pepper in the center.
- Roll it all up. If you can plate several wraps together, you wont need to hold them together with toothpicks. If they are standing alone, you may need to – its your call.
- As a garnish, you can shave a little parmesean cheese to sprinkle on top. We suggest using a microplane to get the most fine grating possible. If you don’t have one already – get it! They’re great for zesting citrus as well, which we’ll surely cover sometime soon in a recipe. As always – Enjoy!