Wash the asparagus under cool running water, and trim the ends by snapping them where they break easily.
The asparagus will break at the point between the tender tips and the tougher ends.
Place the asparagus in a wide shallow saucepan and cover with cold water by 1/2".
Place the pan on high heat and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and just crisp-tender.
Drain thoroughly and return to the pan; add the butter.
Heat over low heat just until the butter melts and coats the asparagus.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.