4 tablespoons olive oil
3⁄4 pound pancetta, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
1 pound asparagus
6 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1⁄2 cup white wine
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Chopped tomatoes for garnish
Makes 2-1/4 Cups
Slice off the asparagus tips, then slice the remaining stalk into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Set aside. Cut mushrooms in quarters; if using large mushrooms, cut in 2-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a large deep sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pancetta and sauté over medium-high heat, until browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. If the pan is too crowded, cook the pancetta in two batches. Set aside.
Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and heat. Add asparagus, garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat until browned but still firm, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Return pancetta to the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Add wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring well to dislodge the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Add stock and the cream. Stir in the parsley and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then simmer to sauce consistency, about 30 minutes. Keep warm.