Second in my series of super easy asparagus recipes; roasting asparagus, or any vegetable, brings out its natural sweetness. This is one time where thicker spears work better than thin ones so the asparagus doesn’t get tough and stringy. You can even make these in your toaster oven – I do.
I used pancetta here, but noted a number of variations* which I’ve used, and they’re all delicious; so pick the topping of your choice to add extra color and flavor after the asparagus is roasted.
1 lb. asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher or sea salt
2 ounces chopped pancetta, sautéed until crispy and browned
*Variations: minced garlic (roasted with the asparagus), add after roasting: carmelized onions, thinly sliced shallots, chopped tomatoes or roasted red pepper, drizzle with fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash the asparagus. Bend each stalk so the tough ends break off. Discard the ends.
Cover the baking tray in tin foil. Lightly spray with spray oil. Place the spears on the baking pan in a single layer.
Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, roll the spears around so all are coated. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 8-10 minutes depending on how thick the spears are. Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta in a small pan.
Remove the asparagus, sprinkle the pancetta over and serve.