I like this served in bowls with plenty of the delicious broth and crusty bread as a first course. But it makes a nice side dish too.
It’s not necessary, but if you strain the broth before serving you will have a more elegant presentation.
- 24 asparagus spears, thin to medium thickness
- 2 cup chicken stock
- 4 pieces bel paese cheese cut into ¼” batons about 2″ long. fontina is a good substitute
- 4 litre proscuitto
- 4 dabs butter
- ½ cup white wine
- coarse salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus. There is no need to peel them unless they are quite thick. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat add chicken stock bringing it to a simmer. Then add the asparagus spears in as close to a single layer as possible. Work in batches if necessary. Poach the asparagus until barely cooked (even a little undercooked). About 3 minutes. Transfer them to a clean work surface to cool, again in as close to one layer as possible. While they cool reduce the asparagus scented chicken broth to about 1 cup. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
Collect 6 stalks asparagus in a neat bundle. Push one baton of bel paese cheese into the center of that bundle. Wrap 1 piece of proscuitto around each bundle as tightly as possible with out breaking the proscuitto. Set the bundle into a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining asparagus and bel paese cheese.
Place a dab of butter on the tips of the asparagus of each bundle. Add white wine and enough of the remaining asparagus scented chicken broth to fill the bottom of the baking dish by about ½‑inch. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
Move the dish to the preheated oven and roast until browned with a few crispy edges. About 25 minutes. Serve in bowls with plenty of the delicious broth and crusty bread as a first course, or alternatively as a side dish with a drizzle of the broth.