I love these little bundles of springtime— asparagus, pancetta, and parmesan cheese wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
You guys know I have a sweet tooth that operates in overdrive, but sometimes I’ve just got to have something savory. And we’re approaching the time of year when fresh produce is so abundant and beautiful that my daydreams about fruit and vegetables rival those of cookies and cakes.
I know, who am I?
The other day I dreamed up this little appetizer to use up all of the asparagus in my fridge, combining it with ham, puff pastry and cheese, and couldn’t wait to make it a reality.
These asparagus, pancetta and puff pastry bundles are super simple. Nothing complicated here. All you need is store-bought frozen puff pastry, fresh asparagus, pancetta, parmesan cheese, and a little olive oil. Feel free to use bacon or even thin deli ham in place of the pancetta if you’d like. And if you’ve got a different cheese in the fridge you’d rather use up, be my guest. Simplicity is the name of the game, and with recipe you almost can’t go wrong.
I can imagine that (if you can hold off making them until then) these bundles would be a perfect appetizer or side dish for Easter, and other special events too!
baking tip:Choosing the Right Store-bought Puff Pastry
There are two main brands of store-bought puff pastry available in the United States: DuFour and Pepperidge Farm. DuFour can typically be found in specialty food stores for more than double the cost of Pepperidge Farm. However, DuFour is made with all butter and has slightly better flavor and texture. Pepperidge Farm is made with shortening, but is significantly cheaper and available at practically any grocery store. While DuFour is the better product, I have used Pepperidge Farm on many occasions with success.
Asparagus, Pancetta and Puff Pastry Bundles
- 1 small bunch asparagus , woody ends removed (about 1/2 lb, 225 grams)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated (30 grams)
- 8 slices pancetta , see Note (2 oz, 56 grams)
- 1 sheet puff pastry , thawed if frozen
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water , for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Out a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a large rectangle about about twice its size. Square off edges and cut into 8 squares or rectangles.
- Toss asparagus in olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- To make the bundles, take a square of puff pastry and brush with egg wash. Place slice of pancetta on top, followed by 3-4 stalks of asparagus (depending on size) and parmesan cheese. Wrap pancetta around asparagus, then wrap with the puff pastry. Make sure the puff pastry overlaps some and press to seal. Brush puff pastry with more egg wash.
- Bake until puff pastry is golden and puffed, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Use can substitute prosciutto, bacon or deli ham for the pancetta, if desired.
This recipe was originally posted March 2014.
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