This is a GREAT recipe for celebrating the arrival of spring! The lemon makes it light and fresh-tasting and the flavor is so good...you won't even miss the meat! (Recipe was adapted from Canadian Living Magazine)
- 4 lbs asparagus
- 1⁄3 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 15 lasagna noodles
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Bend asparagus spears gently to snap off tough end.
- Cut tender parts into 1" pieces.
- Wash under cold running water.
- Shake off excess water and place in microwaveable container.
- Microwave on HI for 3 minutes (alternately, cook in boiling water for 3 minutes).
- Drain and rinse under cold water, drain again.
- Set aside 1 1/2 cups asparagus tips.
- In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Gradually whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Whisk in milk and stirring constantly, cook for 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in cream cheese, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg until cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water until tender (about 10 minutes).
- Place 3 noodles in a 13x9 baking dish.
- Spread with one cup sauce, then 1/4 of the asparagus (not including reserved tips), then 1/4 of the mozzarella.
- Repeat layers 3 more times then top with final layer of noodles and sauce.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
- Sprinkle reserved asparagus tips over top.
- Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Gorgeous spring lasagna! I used fresh lasagna sheets to speed it up a little (not that it's that much trouble to begin with) and that worked beautifully. I served it with a salad of rucola, cherry tomatoes and avocado topped with sesame vinaigrette. I took a moment to get a word out of my husband; He loved it so much that he was totally absorbed in his meal!!
Made this last night and it turned out really nice - a bit too rich on its own though - needed something a bit sharp with it, perhaps a salad with homemade vinegarette dressing. The lemon flavour came though really well.
This even got 5 stars from my husband who has never given anything over a 4 star rating, so it's gotta be good! I halved the recipe, but accidentally added the regular amount of lemon juice, rind, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. The only thing that was a little too much was the nutmeg, but that was my own fault. I absolutely loved the lemon in the sauce. Next time I will probably add a bit more mozzarella (cheese lover that I am), and will cook half of the asparagus even less than called for since the pieces that were in the bottom two layers ended up a little overcooked and had the taste and consistency of canned asparagus. I thought there would be too much asparagus when I first looked at the recipe, but there was just enough for us. This is a great way to use up that bumper crop of asparagus and we'll definitely be making it again. Thanks!