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Asparagus Tart with Onion and Prosciutto

From Italian Cooking and Living, February/March 2005

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons sugar

flour for dusting

1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg


8 ounces mixed green and white asparagus spears

3 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

4 ounces fontina, shredded

2 tablespoons freshly grated

Parmigiano-Reggiano (or

substitute domestic


In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar, and continue to cook until the onion starts to caramelize. Remove from the heat, and set aside.

Prepare the dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 16-by-8-inch rectangle with a 1/4-inch thickness. Trim a 2-inch strip from each edge of the rectangle, and set aside. Transfer the rectangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, prick the edges of the rectangle, 2 inches in. Beat the egg, and brush onto the pricked edges. Place the trimmed strips on top, forming a layered crust. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add salt. Trim and peel the ends of the asparagus, and add to the boiling water. Cook until tender but firm, about 4 minutes. Remove and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.

Assemble the tart: Remove the pastry crust from the refrigerator. Spread the caramelized onion over the surface of the dough, and arrange the asparagus on top. Scatter the prosciutto over the asparagus, and sprinkle with the fontina. Place in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry puffs up and is golden. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the Parmigiano. Serves 4

Copyright © 2006, Italian Cooking and Living. All rights reserved.

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