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)
- 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.