we are well into the asparagus season now. the above green asparagus are the most common here in italy. white asparagus is rare. being more popular in the border regions of germany and france as well as in belgium and the netherlands. white asparagus is also popular in spain. now white asparagus is not a green asparagus which has not been allowed to color! it is its own variety and is naturally white AND purple. as they grow the earth is piled around them so as to repress the purple color development. italy also produces white asparagus the most famous is from the bassano del grappa area in the veneto region. they are considered to be slightly more flavourful. finally there exist also green and purple varieties.
the classic rustic pairing is asparagus(blanched), egg(usually fried but also boiled and cut or chopped), and parmesan (usually in shavings). this of course lends itself well to other interpretations. a place i once staged at would make an asparagus carbonara. (egg parmesan asparagus perfect). otherwise very common is also asparagus risotto as well as asparagus frittata (italian omelette). but they are also eaten cold in a type of vinaigrette, al gratin in the oven or even as polpette (fried asparagus balls.)
but here in tuscany the arrival of asparagus is immediately overshadowed by the arrival of bacelli (fresh fava beans). of which there will be something shortly.