I love Sunday brunch. I miss Sunday brunch.
Back in the day (aka, pre-kids), Jonny and I used to frequent the Sunday Brunch at the Phoenician. It was an awe-inspiring spread of deliciousness that spanned multiple rooms, complete with all-you-can-eat crab legs, sushi, a charcuterie table, omelette bar, pastry table, mimosa and bloody mary station, and the coveted dessert ROOM.
It. Was. Beyond. Words.
Now we have kids. Restless, easily bored kids who don’t appreciate the splendor of the all-you-can-eat feast. Not yet, at least.
So, until the glorious day arrives when we can appreciate the gluttony of brunch as a family, I’ll have to peruse all of my favorite brunch themed cookbooks (like Breakfast for Dinner) to come up with some options at home. Options like this deliciously bright roasted asparagus and pancetta pastry tart…
Super easy to make, and just a few ingredients. The perfect combination of crisped pancetta, tender roasted asparagus, resting a-top a creamy blend of ricotta, asiago, lemon zest, thyme and parsley.
And who can deny a flaky puff pastry crust? Not me.
Roasted Asparagus and Pancetta Pastry Tart
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
1 roll frozen puff pastry (thawed)
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 tsp fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1 lb fresh asparagus spears (trimmed)
2 oz pancetta (roughly chopped into small pieces)
2 oz asiago cheese (grated & divided)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the thawed puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then using a sharp knife, lightly score a border around 1/2″ inside the edge (be careful not to cut completely through the dough). Bake the pastry until it just begins to puff (around 10 minutes.)
In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, 1 oz of the asiago, a dash of salt and the ground white pepper, with a spoon. Spread this mixture on the pastry in an even layer, inside the border.
Lay the asparagus in a single layer on top, alternating ends to tips. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the crust is golden brown.
While the tart is baking, cook the pancetta in a small skillet over medium-high heat until it’s brown and crispy.
Sprinkle the crispy pancetta and remaining asiago over the tart…
Cut it into small squares and serve warm. Alongside a cool, refreshing mimosa. I mean, it is brunch… right?