Author Notes: This is a “must have” recipe as soon as the Asparagus is ready for harvest! Originally adapted from Gourmet a few years back I've been adding my own touches ever since, such adding mozzarella and using a ricotta filling, and if using fresh ricotta, I like using its infused whey (link below) to make the sauce. From time to time I add chopped roasted red pepper as well, a great flavor combo.
When not using infused fresh ricotta whey, an infused white sauce or bechamel, works nicely. Note: vegetable stock instead of a white sauce is very tasty and the way Gourmet makes it.
Below is the onsite link to my infused whey recipe, you can also use it to infuse milk for a white sauce:
Finally, I love using no boil lasagna noodles for this recipe, some packages say to wet these noodles down before working with them…but I found that just letting the dish sit refrigerated for at least an hour after assembling gives the dry noodle enough moisture before baking.
Serves 9 - (8 x 8 baking dish)
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off and reserved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cup infused ricotta whey (link provided above) or **see below
- **1-1/4 cup infused white sauce or 1 cup vegetable stock plus 1/4 cup water, in place of infused whey
- 4 ounces mild goat cheese
- 1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
- Fresh grated zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup micro-plane grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup extra for garnish
- 8 Mozzarella sheets
- 6 (7 by 6 1/4-inch) sheets instant (no-boil) lasagna
- ROAST ASPARAGUS: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the tips off the asparagus stalks and reserve for topping the lasagna. Coat a roasting pan with olive oil, add the asparagus stalks - toss to coat all sides. Roast for 10 minutes. Cool and cut into bite size pieces.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, parsley, lemon zest and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese – set aside until needed.
- In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour, stir and cook the roux over a moderately low heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the infused whey to the roux in a stream, whisking. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Add the goat cheese and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth – pepper to taste, I don’t add salt because all the cheese is usually enough. Note: This sauce will be used for 3 layers.
- OR...if using an infused white sauce, add 1-1/4 cup herb infused milk in a stream, whisking. Simmer for 5 minutes and at this point follow the instructions above, beginning with adding the goat cheese. Note: substitute for white sauce, a vegetable broth/water mixture as noted in the ingredient list is the Gourmet way and very tasty.
- Arrange 2 sheets of pasta in an oiled 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the sauce over the pasta sheets and top with 3/4 cup ricotta mixture. Top the ricotta with 1/2 of the roasted asparagus stalks and finish with 4 mozzarella sheets.
- Add a second layer of the same - 2 pasta sheets, 1/3 portion sauce, the rest of the ricotta, rest of the asparagus stalks and 4 mozzarella sheets.
- Layer on the last 2 sheets of the pasta, add the remaining sauce and arrange the reserved asparagus tips over the top.
- Let the assembled dish sit covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Garnish with 1/4 cup parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Let it stand for 20 minutes before serving.
- Optional - an extra scatter of shredded mozzarella on top, before baking, too!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Fresh Ricotta
Tags: serves a crowd