Asparagus, Pancetta and Parmesan Tart (Recipe)

So spring is almost here! Emphasis on the almost, but I’m trying to forget about the fact that it’s stormy outside and cook like it’s spring! Earlier this week one of my friends came over for supper and after thinking about what to cook for a while I decided to whip up a savoury tart. 

This was my go to recipe last year when I had friends over as it only takes about half an hour to make, can be eaten hot or cold and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I think that I originally saw a similar recipe although I can’t remember where and it’s so simple that you don’t really need a recipe, but if you want to follow one and recreate it then here you go.

First up, the ingredients (it serves 4):

  • One roll of puff pastry (I buy it as I’m lazy and think it tastes pretty good anyway but you can make youf own if you’re a bit more adventurous!)
  • 200g of pancetta
  • 250g of marscapone
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • Handful of basil

See, it doesn’t need many ingredients, it really is that simple! Firstly you need to pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Whilst the oven is warming up then pan fry the pancetta until it’s crispy. 

Then get a baking tray (standard size works best), put down a piece of greaseproof paper and grease it (either butter or olive oil) and lay out your pastry. If you buy the pre-rolled puff pastry then it’ll fit perfectly on your baking tray, make sure that you prick it with a fork so it doesn’t puff up too much. Once the oven has heated up then pop the pastry in and cook it for about 10 minutes.

Whilst it’s cooking you want to chop up your basil nice and small and then mix it in with the marscapone so it looks something like this (I told you it wasn’t complicated)!

Take the pastry out the oven, bash down the middle a bit (technical term there!) so that it’s not puffy anymore and then spread over the marscapone and basil. Let the pastry cool before you do this or it will just melt on the pastry.

Chop the ends off the asparagus (if you bend them with your hands then there’s a natural point when the woody bit breaks off so you don’t lose any of the good stuff) and lay it over your pastry and marscapone.Next up add the pancetta and make sure that it’s all covered.

 (Try not to eat the pancetta as you go – this is my weak point!) And finally add the grated parmesan and then it’s good to go.

I know that I go overboard on the parmesan but I am a cheese fiend! Pop it in the oven, wait for about 10 minutes and then you’re good to tuck in. The pastry will be golden, the parmesan deliciously melted and generally it’ll taste like a dream!

As you can see I got a little bit carried away on the Parmesan but luckily my friend is also a cheese lover too so wasn’t complaining! I served it with a big bowl of salad and it was perfect. I even had some left over for my packed lunch the next day which was definitely more exciting that the boring salads I usually have. If you’re a vegetarian or you don’t like cheese (I don’t know why you wouldn’t like cheese but some people are strange!) then I suggest swapping the marscapone for a thin layer of red pesto and then topping it with roasted peppers, courgettes and aubergine, that’s a pretty tasty one too!

If you do give it a go then let me know how you get on!

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