Green Lasagne....w/ Asparagus, Peas & Artichokes
Once again, I found a recipe that I was dreaming about in Alison Roman's new cookbook DINING IN.
Hers was a green lasagne (no red sauce), made w/ spinach and artichokes and LOTS OF CHEESE.
No bechamel sauce either (that disgusting flour, milky butter glue) to hold the ingredients together.....just cheese.
Hmmmmm....I was intrigued.
I decided to go for it, but since it's spring, and asparagus is abundant right now, I used that instead of the spinach, and threw in lots of peas.
Alison says the secret to a great lasagne is using good cheese and lots of it....Parmigiano Reggiano and Mozzarella.
I always abide by this rule and use FRESH mozzarella, even for melting. I never buy supermarket packaged cheese....tastes like wax, not that I know what wax tastes like.
In this recipe use as many artichokes, and as much asparagus or peas that you like. I wrote out amounts as a guideline only.
I baked this and froze it to serve for Mother's Day....it was a big hit....and it will be my new go to lasagne.
Another thing: Why do some people spell LASAGNE with an E at the end, and some spell it LASAGNA w/ an A at the end?
I'm in the minority, I spell it w/ the E.
I've always been different.
Here's the recipe:
Green Lasagne (loosely adapted from Dining In):
12 sheets of fresh lasagne noodles (you can use dried, but don't use the no bake noodles)
16 oz. of fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (not the crap in the green can please)
1 lb. asparagus stalks, trimmed
1 cup of defrosted frozen or fresh peas
1 can or jar of artichoke hearts (not marinated), cut in half (you can use more if you like)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (preferably fresh)
salt & pepper
First let me say cooking lasagne noodles is a big pain in the ass. It will make you want to blow your brains out when the noodles all stick together....so here's a trick (which I took from Proud Italian Cook's manicotti tips).
Cook the lasagne noodles for only 4 minutes....even if the box says 8 or 10. Trust me. Pull them out of the water quickly and place them in a colander and immediately run cold water on them and pull them apart if stuck together......transfer them to a platter and drizzle w/ olive oil. And if you feel you can't complete this task, then by all means, buy fresh noodles....makes life much easier.
Cook the onion on low heat in some olive oil until translucent, season the onions w/ kosher salt & pepper. In the same pan, I cooked the asparagus spears for about 2 minutes, just to make them green and not raw. Set aside.
Mix the ricotta with the cream, egg, Parmesan and salt & pepper together in a bowl.
Now we are ready to start the process. Get everything ready and it will be a snap.
Coat a baking dish w/ olive oil and lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom.
Spread half of the ricotta mixture on the noodles, and layer with artichoke hearts, asparagus and some cooked onion. Throw in some peas.
Place chunks of torn mozzarella on top of this.
Next, another layer of noodles (4). More ricotta, artichokes, asparagus, peas and mozzarella.
End w/ 4 last pieces of lasagne noodles.
Drizzle only with olive oil and sprinkle more Parmesan on top.
Cover tightly w/ foil and bake in a hot 400F oven for 20 minutes.
Increase the temperature to 500F and remove the foil.
Bake another 8 minutes until the top is bubbly and brown.
Let rest about a half hour before serving.
If you want to freeze this, make sure your lasagne is completely cooled.
Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then in foil so no air gets in.
Before reheating, thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
I added dabs of pesto then reheated the casserole in a 350F oven covered tightly in foil for 1 hour.
This was so good......I have renewed my faith in lasagne!
I can't wait to make this again!
I was waiting for thid recipe, so excited to give it a try!
I use the e at the end to....LOL
"As with most other types of pasta, the Italian word is a plural form, lasagne meaning more than one sheet of lasagna, though in many other languages a derivative of the singular word "lasagna" is used for the popular dish.”
So if you use more than one sheet of lasagna, you have made lasagne.
That sounds delicious. A must try with asparagus, though we love artichokes, too...
I used pesto when I reheated the lasagne, as can be seen in the top photo......it is cooked on top of the noodles.
As for lasagna noodles, I used GRANORO dried pasta from Italy......it was excellent.
In this recipe, since there is no sauce to soak up the no bake noodles, they will be dry and hard to layer and spread w/ the ricotta mixture.
The recipe says use fresh pasta, which is fantastic if you can find it.....or cook lasagne noodles the old fashioned way like I did.....it is worth it in the end.
I personally dislike no bake noodles, my lasagnes have never come out great using them.
But of course you can use the no bake if that is all your friend has......just maybe add more cream.
A friend who used to make world-class lasagne (before so many gourmet noodles were available) used DiCeccho. They are thin and lovely and probably miserable to separate,, as Stacey points out. I have never made lasagne but this recipe inspires me.
One question: I use Pecorino Romano cheese from Costco rather than Parmesan. We like the slightly stronger flavor. How would that work in this?