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The Silver Spoon, Phaidon Press

Serves 4

• 2 1/4 pounds asparagus, spears trimmed
• 2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 1/4 cups Bechamel Sauce
• scant 1/2 cup dry white wine
• pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
• 7 ounces pancetta, sliced
• salt and pepper

Cook the asparagus in salted, boiling water for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Drain the asparagus and place it in the prepared dish.

Stir the Parmesan and egg yolks into the pan of bechamel sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Set over medium heat, stir in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nutmeg.

Place the pancetta slices on top of the asparagus and spoon the sauce over them.

Dot with the butter and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.


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