This recipe was a great excuse to cross puff pastry off of my baking bucket list (still pretty proud of those layers), but if you use purchased pastry, this can be a very easy to assemble meal. If you don't want to buy or make mascarpone, you should be able to substitute 3 tablespoons of cream cheese, and add a teaspoon or two of cream.(Source.)
Serves six to eight.
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ batch quick puff pastry (or store-bought puff pastry)
¼ cup mascarpone
¼ cup heavy cream
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ cup walnuts (or almonds), toasted and roughly chopped
parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
pinch pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 420º. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Roll the puff pastry into an 8×12 inch rectangle. Trim off the uneven edges. Place on the baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a small bowl combine the mascarpone, cream, garlic, pepper flakes, and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper.
Trim the asparagus to an even length and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Remove your puff from the fridge and top with the mascarpone mixture leaving a one-inch border. Arrange the asparagus on top, sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350º and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Just before serving top with toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.