Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks with a vegetable peeler, if desired. Cook asparagus in boiling salted water to cover 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Place asparagus in a large heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag.
Combine sugar and next 3 ingredients; pour over asparagus. Seal bag securely, and gently turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning once.
Remove asparagus from marinade, reserving marinade. Place asparagus on a serving platter, and drizzle with reserved marinade. Sprinkle asparagus with toasted pecans and pepper.