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Asparagus Crostini with Parmesan Crisps
Makes 48 Crostini
*1 long baguette, about 2 feet long, cut into 48 1/2-inch thick slices on the diagonal
*1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
*3/4 pound asparagus (about 12 stalks), ends trimmed
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*1 cup Sargento Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
*1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan Cheese
*1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, divided
*1/3 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
2To make the crostini, brush both sides of each slice of bread with 1/3 cup oil. Toast until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. (The crostini can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep in an airtight container.)
3To prepare the asparagus, place asparagus stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the asparagus is just beginning to turn brown and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Cut the asparagus crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.
4In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons basil. Set aside. (This can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
5To prepare Parmesan crisps, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a heaping teaspoonful of Parmesan cheese on the baking sheet. Smooth into a rectangle about the length of each crostini. Repeat with remaining Parmesan cheese, spacing about 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. (Parmesan crisps can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.)
6In a medium saute pan, place the pancetta over medium heat. Cook until pancetta is crisp and brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let cool.
7To assemble the crostini, spread about 1 teaspoon of ricotta-Parmesan mixture on each crostini. Lightly press 5 or 6 slices of asparagus and 3 or 4 pieces of pancetta into the cheese mixture. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is heated through and the edges of the asparagus are a shade darker. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.
8Place a Parmesan crisp on top of each crostini, sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.
  • Several of the components of these crostini can be made ahead of time, making them perfect for entertaining.

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