This is a fresh, springtime take on traditional lasagna. I love this recipe, and am excited about experimenting with other seasonal veggies as well. Lasagna is also an excellent make-ahead meal for a crowd, you can even freeze the whole pan before you bake it, and save it for an impromptu dinner party or emergency lasagna craving. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs 3 oz (1 kg) fresh asparagus
- 1 leek
- 1 1/2 cups (8.8 oz or 250 g) frozen peas
- 1 quart (4 cups or 1 liter) whole milk, hot
- 2/3 cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons (100 g) butter
- freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
- 1/2 pound (250 g) of lasagna noodles
- 3/4 cup (90 g) freshly-grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°Ç). Butter a 9×12 inch rectangular baking pan; set aside.
Wash and dry the asparagus, discarding the hard ends. Cut off the tender tips and set them aside, chop the rest of the asparagus stalk into small rounds. Cook the chopped asparagus rounds in simmering, salted water for about 5 minutes, then add the tips and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus, transfer to an ice bath, then drain again. Set aside.
Wash and finely chop the leek. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the leek over medium-low heat until tender. Add the drained asparagus and the frozen peas and continue to cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes.
Prepare the sauce: Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Simmer until mixture thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Mix in lemon rind and nutmeg. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles (if necessary- follow the package instructions) in large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse noodles with cold water and drain well.
Spread some of the white sauce in bottom of pan. Top with single layer of lasagne noodles, then cover with 1/2 cup white sauce. Top with some of the asparagus mixture and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Cover with another layer of lasagna noodles and continue to assemble the lasagna in this order until you run out of ingredients, finishing with the layer of parmesan cheese.
Bake, in preheated oven, for about 30 minutes. The lasagna is ready when it is slightly golden on top and heated through. Let it cool slightly before serving.