“Velocius quam asparagi coquantur” – Ancient Roman saying that translates as “faster than cooking asparagus”. It means that something was accomplished very quickly. Kind of like cooking this dish!
Asparagus with egg is is a springtime favorite across Italy. You can find it listed on the menu as a lunch item, or as a first course on a supper menu.
Traditionally it’s made with the thicker (female) stalks which are boiled in salted water and then topped with a crispy fried egg, parmegiano reggiano, and the browned butter from the fry pan.
I make mine just a little differently because I love to match up crispy prosciutto and roasted asparagus. And you know what? I almost bought some quail eggs because I just KNOW it would be super cute to make a little asparagus and prosciutto “bouquet” with tiny fried quail egg “flowers”.
Alas, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all the eggs I already have, so it didn’t seem right to purchase an entire dozen of the wee little guys. No matter how cute it would be.
Speaking of cute, here is a picture of my dog peeking out from under the table at a restaurant where I ordered this dish.
Now we make it at home, and so can you.
Happy Spring Vegetable Recipes Everyone!
Asparagus with Egg and Prosciutto
Handful washed asparagus, all about the same size
1 piece prosciutto
grated Parmegiano Reggiano
salt and pepper
1/2 T to 1 T Butter
Preheat oven to 400 F
Preheated small fry pan (medium or just under), you want it pretty hot.
Wash and pat dry your asparagus to make sure there is no sand in them. Steam for about 3 minutes over boiling water if they are the thin (male) stalks, or about 5 minutes if they are the thicker (female) stalks. If you have JUST picked them, from your own garden, you lucky person you, you can get away with an even shorter period of time. Drizzle with olive oil, and wrap the prosciutto around it like a bundle of love. Place the asparagus on the baking tray with the seam side down so it doesn’t pop open or curl up. Grind some pepper over the top.
Cook for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and put on plate. Top with desired amount of cheese.
*I like my asparagus crisp tender, even if it’s roasted, but feel free to cook it for a longer period of time depending on your preference.*
Add pat of butter to fry pan – it should melt right away and almost want to turn brown. If it browns immediately your pan is too hot, so lower the heat and try again. Pour your egg in, top with some salt and pepper, and cook until the white is set but the yolk is still runny.
Carefully place the egg on top of the asparagus, and pour the remaining browned butter over the asparagus.
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