Pancetta-wrapped asparagus

Serves four, as served at Le Caprice
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900g (2lb) medium to thick asparagus
pancetta slices, sliced wafer-thin

Paper-thin slices of pancetta make perfect little savoury wraps for asparagus spears. Spanish white and green asparagus both work well. They make great starters served with some melted, perhaps raclette-style cheese, or even with a fondue. Otherwise, simply serve them as a tapas-type snack.

Allow about five medium asparagus spears per person, trim off the woody ends and cook in boiling, salted water for three to four minutes until tender, then drain and refresh in some cold water to stop them cooking any more. Wrap each piece of asparagus in a slice of pancetta, then, in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, fry them gently on all sides for a minute or so.

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