Spring Lasagna

This recipe from Julia Reed was in the Wall Street Journal got us thinking about more ways to play with veggies, pasta and sauces.

Spring Lasagna Spring Lasagna

Total Time: 2 hours Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more

Salt

¾ pounds lasagna noodles

5 tablespoons butter

6 spring onions, thinly sliced

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups frozen green peas

1½ cups asparagus, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch pieces

2¼ cups ricotta cheese, strained

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chervil

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup chopped white onion

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 pinches cayenne pepper

1 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced

1/3 cup grated fontina

1/3 cup grated pecorino

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box, until barely al dente. Drain. Toss with oil to prevent sticking.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, leeks and garlic and sauté until soft, 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook peas in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Cook asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain asparagus, shock in ice water, drain again and toss with peas.

4. Mix ricotta, zest and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Make béchamel: Combine milk, onions, bay leaves, ½ teaspoon salt and white pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reduces by approximately a quarter, about 10 minutes. Strain milk and set aside. Wipe saucepan and melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, whisk in reserved milk and cook, stirring often, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add cayenne.

6. Assemble lasagna: Spread 1½ cups béchamel across bottom of a 3-quart casserole. Top with a layer of noodles, then ¾ cup ricotta mixture, 1/3 onion-leek mixture and 1/3 asparagus-pea mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat process two more times. Cover last asparagus-pea layer with mozzarella. Mix fontina, pecorino and Parmesan and sprinkle over mozzarella. Drizzle remaining béchamel over top.

7. Bake until cheese melts and top browns, about 45 minutes. Let lasagna rest 20-30 minutes before slicing.

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