The light flavors of asparagus and goat cheese practically scream spring and since we are now done with Passover, I don’t know about you JDaters®, but I am craving pasta.
This is a great “do ahead” dish. The whole thing can be assembled a day or two before serving and then popped into the oven for a lovely spring dinner or light lunch.
I like lasagna, but I occasionally need a change from the usual tomato concoction. This version is bursting with caramelized asparagus, lemon and goat cheese. Serve it with a salad and some crusty bread and you a have a great spring meal.
1 pound lasagna pasta (I like the whole wheat pasta available at most markets)
2 pounds fresh asparagus-stem end trimmed and stalks cut into1 ½ inch pieces
Extra Virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups 2% milk
4 ounces goat cheese
Zest of 2 lemons
Pre –heat broiler to high.
- Place a large stockpot over high heat and cook lasagna pasta until it is al dente. Drain and toss with olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking.
- Toss the asparagus pieces with salt and pepper and Extra Virgin olive oil. Place on a broiler proof pan and cook until caramelized and lightly browned (about 5-7 minutes). Be sure to turn the asparagus frequently so that it is evenly golden brown. Remove from the broiler and set aside.
- Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and whisk the flour in to milk. Stir the mixture to cook out the raw flour taste (about 1 minute.) Add the milk at once and whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken when the milk reaches a boil. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese and lemon zest. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350. Layer the pasta in a casserole. Scatter 1/3 of the asparagus at the bottom of the pasta. Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce over the asparagus. Repeat the layering process until you have 3 layers. Finish with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. The lasagna can be kept covered in the refrigerator for 2 days before baking.
- To bake, lightly cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to set up before slicing.