Sautéed Asparagus with Pancetta and Parmigiano for Two

Chock full of 90 healthful, yet delicious recipes for vegetables—as well as nine different methods for cooking veggies that will appeal to everyone at your table from carnivores to anti-green kids—Fast, Fresh & Green is a must-have addition for cooks who care about nutrition as much as taste. Recipe reprinted from Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton with permission from Chronicle Books.


  • 8 medium-large asparagus spears, ends trimmed or snapped away (6 – 7 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 thin slices pancetta, coarsely chopped in ½” pieces (1/2 ounce)
  • Scant ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Slice the asparagus on a very sharp angle into pieces that are about two inches long and about ¼ inch in diameter at the thickest point. You will have six to seven pieces from each stalk.
  2. In a medium (9-10”) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and ½ tablespoon of the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, add the pancetta and cook until crisp, three to five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Add the asparagus to the skillet, season with the salt and return the pan to the heat, raising it to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until all of the asparagus pieces are nicely browned, up to 10 minutes. The pieces will still be firm, but not crunchy. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining ½ tablespoon butter and balsamic vinegar (it will sizzle). Stir right away and keep stirring until the butter has melted. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish or dinner plates and garnish with the Parmigiano and the pancetta crisps. Serves two.

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