Fancy (but fuss-free!) asparagus

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Pancetta-wrapped asparagus with poached duck eggs

This makes a fabulous starter, stunning main course and an even better breakfast. You can't go wrong.

* 100g asparagus per person *?2 slices pancetta per person * 1 egg per person *?bowl of iced water


1 Put two pots of salted water on to boil. 2 Preheat oven to 180C/400F/Gas Mark 6. 3 Snap each asparagus spear close to its end; it will break where it naturally becomes tough. Discard ends. 4 Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2?3 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears. 5 Blanch in bowl of iced water to halt the cooking process. Drain and dry gently. 6 Wrap each bundle of asparagus in two slices of pancetta and place in a hot oven for roughly 6?8 minutes. 7 Crack duck egg into small container and slip into the second pot of boiling water. Bring water down to gentle simmer for 4 minutes. 8 Remove asparagus bundles from the oven when the pancetta is nice and crisp. 9 Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the poached egg. 10 Drain on kitchen paper, place on top of asparagus and serve immediately.

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Recipes Lesley Tumulty. Photography Nathalie Marquez Courtney. Styling Marlene Wessels.


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