Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Asparagus Lasagna

I got a wonderful Valentine's Day gift from a friend yesterday. My friend typed out some of her favorite recipes for me and they all sound delicious, so while I'm trying these new recipes (which I am so excited about), I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you.

Asparagus lasagna. Sounds weird, but it's really good. It has asparagus, ham, cheese, noodles, in a garlic/thyme white sauce. If you are not an asparagus fan, then this recipe is not for you, but if you love asparagus like I do, then you are in for a real treat. Let's start this adventure!

Asparagus Lasagna
(generously adapted from a recipe in the 1998 Taste of Home Annual Recipes cookbook)

1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 small onion, diced
4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 T "light" margarine (you can use unsalted butter or regular margarine, if you want)
4 T flour
2 2/3 cups milk (I used 1 %)
1 pkg lasagna noodles, cooked for HALF amount of directed time on package
2 cups 2% reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups julienned fully cooked ham (or just cut into small pieces)

*NOTE: I cook for 6 people every night so if you have less mouths to feed, this recipe can easily be cut in half. You will want to use a smaller pan though. An 11 x 7 x 2 would work well.

In a 2 qt saucepan, bring asparagus and a couple of inches water to a boil and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a 3 qt saucepan over medium heat, saute onion in melted margarine for 4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or so. Whisk in flour, stir and let cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened; remove from heat.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Layer 3 noodles on bottom of pan. Ladle 1/3 of white sauce onto noodles, then 1/3 mozzarella cheese, 1/3 of the ham and then 1/3 of the asparagus. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used up, sprinkling the top with a little bit of mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese, if desired. (this could easily be made into 4 layers by simply dividing ingredients into fourths instead of thirds--we like it thicker so that is how I usually make it)

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbling. Cut into desired portions and enjoy! :)

*NOTE: I used oven ready lasagna noodles in the pictures. I don't usually cook with them, but I had some in my pantry that needed to get used. I prefer to use regular lasagna noodles.

1 comment:

  1. this looks great Jen! I am def. trying this one soon.