The inspiration for this recipe came from one of the more popular asparagus recipes on Serious Eats but adds crispy pancetta, a hefty dose of parmesan, and some fresh-tasting parsley. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, then you can opt out of using the pancetta and substitute oil or butter for cooking the asparagus.
If you don't have an oven or broiler and need to finish this on the stovetop, then lower the heat and cover the dish so that the eggs set without overcooking from the bottom of the pan. Serving it with some crusty bread to make mini-sandwiches (or just to soak up the runny yolk) is definitely a good idea.
I happen to love a kick of heat in almost everything that I make, but I realize not everyone feels that way. Feel free to leave out the chili flakes in the recipe or increase the amount, depending on your desired heat level.
Note: You can leave out the pancetta to make this dish vegetarian, just increase the amount of oil when cooking the asparagus.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ pound pancetta, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces on the bias
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ½ cup grated parmesan, plus more for shaving
- ½ tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
- Pinch of dried red chili flakes (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Adjust the broiler rack in the oven so that it’s on the second highest setting and preheat broiler to high.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cooking, stirring frequently until rendered and crisp, about 4 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the asparagus, shallot, garlic, butter, half of the parsley, grated parmesan, and chili flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until asparagus begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
Remove the skillet from the heat and make four wells. Crack the eggs in the wells, season with salt and pepper, and place under the broiler until the whites are set but the yolks are still running, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, some shaved parmesan, and a good drizzle of high-quality olive oil. Serve immediately