Roasted asparagus with pancetta and poached eggs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am


This makes a delicious light lunch. If you're feeling extravagant, shave some fresh black truffle over the eggs just before serving.

Serves 2 8 thick asparagus spears

20ml olive oil

2 large fresh eggs, organic if possible

4 thin pancetta slices

Oil, for pan-frying

30 grams unsalted butter

Large-flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius.

- Trim and discard the ends of the asparagus, then peel the lower part of the stalks.

- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus spears and blanch for 30 seconds.

- Drain the asparagus, but don't rinse.

- While the asparagus is still hot, rub the spears with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

- Place the spears on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in one layer.

- Roast at 225 degrees until slightly charred in spots and tender but not overcooked, about five to 10 minutes.

- Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil.

- Crack the eggs into the pan then cover, turn off the heat and let the eggs poach until the whites are softly set but the yolk is still runny, about seven to 10 minutes.

- Carefully remove the eggs and lay on paper towels to blot up the water.

- Heat some oil in a skillet and pan fry the pancetta until crisp. Remove and dry on paper towels.

- Melt the butter in a small saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave).

- Divide the asparagus spears and pancetta between two plates.

- Place the poached eggs on top of the asparagus, then drizzle some melted butter over each portion.

- Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt, then serve immediately.