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Asparagi Alla Parmigiana (Italian Asparagus Gratin)

2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
12-23 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450F. Butter a shallow gratin or baking dish that is just large enough to hold the asparagus. Place a layer of asparagus in the dish, with the tips all facing the same direction. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and some of the cheese Keep adding layers until all asparagus and all cheese is used, finishing with the cheese. Dot the top of the dish with the pieces of butter and place the dish on the top rack of the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked through and beginning to brown and the cheese is melted. *Variations. Instead of the butter use olive oil or half butter and half olive oil. Use half Parmesan and half shredded fontina cheese for a creamier gratin. Layer a couple of slices of prosciutto in with the asparagus if you like. Sprinkle with a little lemon zest for added zing.

Source: www.food.com