June 28, 2013 § 43 Comments
We have been cooking up bundles of asparagus this season. I am feeling as though we have come to the end of our season and this lasagne was my last act. I delighted in preparing this baked dish of luscious pasta layered with béchamel sauce, steamed asparagus, cheese and potatoes. The process was very satisfying and somewhat a test of my kitchen organizational skills. Preparing the layer ingredients prior to making the béchamel sauce helps to keep order in the kitchen. This is the first time I made a garlic, onion and thyme infused béchamel sauce and it is an especially nice flavor for the potatoes.
This is one of those posts. The dinner turned out perfect and the photographs didn’t. I almost scratched the whole idea of posting it and then something occurred to me. This lasagne is so delicious… I have to share the recipe!
I always have a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when I place a lasagne in the oven. I just wish I had the same feeling about my photographs…
L a s a g n e
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 3 medium yukon gold potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
- 12 ounces lasagne noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup shredded aged white cheddar
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- chopped fresh parsley
Bring two large pots of salted water to a boil. In one pot add the asparagus and the other add the potatoes. Cook the asparagus 3-5 minutes until crisp tender. Remove using a skimmer and transfer to a bowl of ice cold water. Drain and pat dry. Keep the asparagus water boiling. Cook the potatoes until almost tender, 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the boiling asparagus water and add the lasagne noodles a few sheets at a time stirring to keep separate. Cook until barely tender. Drain and set aside.
B é c h a m e l S a u c e
- 3 cups milk
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Bring the milk, onion, garlic and thyme to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow it to sit and infuse of 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and let it bubble without browning for 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm milk and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking whisking often until the sauce is smooth about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper. You may press a sheet of plastic wrap on top to keep a skin from forming.
A s s e m b l e
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 13×9 inch baking dish. Spread a thin film of the béchamel sauce in the bottom of the dish. Arrange 3 or 4 pasta sheets in the dish, slightly overlapping as needed. Spread with one third of the sauce, half each of the potatoes, asparagus and aged white cheddar. Top with another layer of pasta, half of the remaining sauce and the remaining potatoes, asparagus and cheddar. Finish with a layer of pasta and spread with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and dot with the butter.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.