Pancetta-wrapped asparagus with strawberry sauce

Pancetta-wrapped asparagus with strawberry sauce

With all the asparagus and strawberry sagre that occur around this time of year, this combo really shouldn’t come as a surprise. But teaming them up together would never have crossed my mind had it not been for a chef’s demo on a local tv program. This dish is simple to make and is great as an opening course.

Pancetta-wrapped asparagus prep

1. Trim ends of 1 pound of asparagus spears and quickly blanch in boiling water just until they turn a bright green. Drain and allow to cool.
2. Wrap with pancetta (or bacon) and place in a roasting pan. Season with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast at 400°F until pancetta is cooked; about 15-20 minutes.
3. While the asparagus is in the oven, mix 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small pan and heat until it turns syrupy. Add a half pound of chopped strawberries and a squeeze of lemon juice, and continue to simmer until it turns into a chunky sauce.
4. Arrange asparagus on a platter and spoon sauce over the spears. Serves 2.

Asparagus and strawberry festivals in Italy

From the end of April to the end of May, asparagus (asparagi) and strawberries (fragole) are paired together in many food festivals or sagre throughout Italy. Northern Italy hosts several of them.

  • Sagra dell’Asparago e delle Fragole in Gemonio (Varese province)
  • Festa degli Asparagi e delle Fragole a Isola della Scala (Verona province) – held in the Caselle district, this year marked their 36th event
  • Festa della Fragola e dell’Asparago in Farra di Soligo (Treviso province)
  • Festa dell’Asparago e della Fragola in Gardigiano di Scorzè (Verona province)
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    5 thoughts on “Pancetta-wrapped asparagus with strawberry sauce

    1. Pingback: My favorite ways to cook sweet cherries | Rubber Slippers In Italy

      1. Rowena Post author

        And it doesn’t stop there. After I learned about this dish, a google search for asparagus and strawberries turned up everything from risotto, insalata di riso, carpaccio di tonno, turkey sandwich, and even an italian-themed tri-color mousse featuring caprino for the white part.

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      1. Rowena Post author

        It makes me wonder what I’ve been missing at food celebrations where they have both asparagus and strawberries – we were suppose to go to one but had to cancel at the last minute. I can’t find a detailed menu for any of those events, but I think I’ll update this post with a list of sagre as a reminder for next year.

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