Italian asparagus gratin made easy

Buy asparagus in bundles and whip up this Italian asparagus bake in a jiffy.

What you need:
900g trimmed asparagus
2-3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste.

The work:

Preheat oven to 230°C and grease a shallow baking dish 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 the asparagus and cheese is used, finishing off with a layer of Parmesan. Dot the top of the dish with pieces of butter and place the dish on the top rack of the oven.
Bake for 15-20 mins, or until the asparagus is cooked and the cheese is melted.
For a healthier option, substitute olive oil for butter. For a creamier gratin, use half Parmesan and half fontina or Gruyère cheese. You can also try adding prosciutto, lemon zest for added zing, or even sautéed red onions to the dish.