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ASPARAGUS alla ROMANA
Here's a yummy way to do asparagus that will have asparagus-haters gobbling it up (and I know---hubby does)! Remember to judge your amount of asparagus, your stem-trimming, and your roasting tim according to the thickness of the asparagus spears.
Serves: 4-6

2 pounds asparagus (1 to 1-1/2 if spears are thin) Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 pound prosciutto -- diced
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese -- to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove and discard tough woody ends of the asparagus, and use a vegetable peeler to trim away the thin peel from the bottom 3 inches of the stalks. Place asparagus in a shallow baking pan and season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Over medium heat, add garlic and cook until just softened (do not burn). Add the lemon juice, pine nuts and prosciutto, and cook until the nuts begin to brown slightly, about 2-3 minuites. Remove from heat and drizzle over asparagus. Toss with your hands to coat asparagus well. Roast in the oven until just cooked, about 13-15 minutes (depending on the size of the asparagus spears).

Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano may be substitute4d).

Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved