Back at the beginning of the summer, I found a recipe through a related link for this amazing vegetarian asparagus-pesto lasagna, and decided to try it out. I got the majority of the ingredients from the farmer’s market. After it was baked, I offered it to the girls, and they didn’t want anything to do with it because of the asparagus. Until they tried it. Everyone who got a taste of the stuff then has brought it up from time to time ever since. In preparations for making it again, I was looking at the recipe, and remembering some difficulties. So, I’m posting the recipe again with some modifications so that I can reproduce it easier in the future.
from Vegetarian Times; April 2006
1/3 c all-purpose flour
3½ c low-fat milk, divided
6 Tbs Pesto (the freshest you can find or make).
2 Tbs Grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1¼ lb. asparagus spears, tips cut off and reserved, spears trimmed and cut to ¼” pieces
1 tsp minced garlic (1 clove)
1 small box lasagna noodles
2 c shredded mozzarella (8 oz), divided
Noodles: If you are using the no-bake noodles, they are ready. If you are using regular lasagna noodles, boil them to the point just prior to being al dente.
Steps one and two below are independent, so if you have extra hands on deck, both can occur simultaneously.
ONE: Make The white sauce
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk flour and ½ cup of milk in saucepan until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from heat: stir in pesto, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Reserve one cup of this sauce.
TWO: Prep The asparagus spears
Warm oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add chopped asparagus (except tips) and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, cook, stirring, 1 minute and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
THREE: Assemble the masterpiece
Coat 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Place layer of noodles in dish, overlapping slightly. Layer with half of cooked asparagus, ¾ cup cheese and half of sauce. Add another layer of pasta, remaining sauce, remaining cooked asparagus, and ¾ cup cheese. Top with a layer of noodles, then with reserved cup of white sauce. Arrange reserved asparagus tips over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
FOUR: Controlled reaction
Bake, uncovered. 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes; serve with additional grated Parmesan.
When I made it the first time, it didn’t seem like there was enough of the white(pesto) sauce. This time, I think I’ll double the ingredients for just the pesto part. If I end up with too much, I could always just make the whole thing a couple of layers taller.
This recipe is amazing, and it refrigerates and freezes very well.