- Unsalted butter, for baking dish
- 1 large bunch asparagus, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed to even lengths and blanched for 4 minutes in boiling, salted water
- Gray salt and freshly ground pepper
- Seasoned bread crumbs, recipe follows
- 8 thin slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a shallow baking dish that is long enough to hold the asparagus. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, to taste.
Divide the asparagus into 8 equal bundles. Arrange 2 slices of the prosciutto on a work surface so they slightly overlap each other. Place an asparagus bundle on top and roll up carefully in the prosciutto. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Flatten the top of each bundle slightly and sprinkle with 1/4 of the seasoned bread crumbs. Drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast in the oven until heated through and crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve at once on a platter with the sliced ham.
Seasoned Bread Crumbs:
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Pinch gray salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
To make the seasoned bread crumbs, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt the pan and then add the minced garlic and saute briefly until pale gold. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper, and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs are toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and add the parsley, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Toss well. (The crumbs keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for several days.)