Whether served as a side dish next to grilled salmon, roast chicken, or lamb, or topped with an egg for an easy weeknight dinner or simple Sunday brunch, this satisfying spring dish comes together in about 20 minutes.
serves 2 as main course or 4 as a side
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz pancetta or bacon, diced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
1 can or 1 ½ cups cooked white beans (cannellini or great northern; chickpeas would also work), rinsed and drained
salt to taste
zest of 1 lemon
handful of mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, chives, mint), roughly chopped
2 eggs, optional
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown.
Add spring onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and lower heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes.
Add asparagus to the pan, and bring the heat back up to medium. Sautee, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes, just until the asparagus is bright green and fork-tender. Stir in beans and cook until warmed through. Season to taste with salt.
Transfer to serving bowl/platter, and shower with lemon zest and herbs. If desired, top with fried, poached, or jammy soft-boiled eggs.