Food is so seasonal here in Rome. Initially it was frustrating, planning meals with ingredients that could not be found. But you get used to it, and eventually I learned to cook with the seasons, and even look forward to each new wave of arrivals in the vegetable stalls. Asparagus comes for a month or so, then will be gone from the market until next April. Other times it might appear but might be imported, or expensive, and certainly not as good. So when asparagus is here, those interesting asparagus recipes from the last ten-eleven months need to be excavated and tested, while it is available and affordable. Today the market had glowing piles of red cherries, and the yellow melons are getting cheaper, which means soon the asparagus and strawberries will be gone. The watermelon stand at Circo Massimo has opened for the summer, so summer is just around the corner. And that means not turning the oven on, as it gets so hot here, so we had better enjoy these roast veg while we can!
Roast Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
500g asparagus spears (tough ends trimmed off)
1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper
200g thinly sliced prosciutto
Heat the oven to 200C. Cover a baking tray with aluminum foil. Wrap each asparagus spear with a piece of prosciutto. It is easier if you roll them on slightly diagonally. Drizzle on the olive oil, and season with fresh cracked pepper. Bake at 200C for 10-12 minutes or so, until the asparagus is tender and the prosciutto is slightly crispy. Serve warm.