Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Asparagus lasagna
My favorite Spring vegetable paired with a not so traditional Italian American comfort
food with the flavors of Eggs Benedict

The smaller pan allows Asparagus lasagna to be done inside of 45 minutes, including
resting time

When asparagus is out of its traditional season, replace with fresh curly leaf spinach
for Spinach lasagna

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 pound asparagus
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
6 to 9 lasagna noodles
1 1/3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced Canadian bacon
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion and garlic
and stir to gloss; cook until onion until translucent, about 8 minutes

Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually whisk in milk; simmer
until mixture thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in lemon peel and
nutmeg. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Can be prepared 1 day
ahead (cover and refrigerate)

Bring a large stock pot of water to the boil

Grease 8 inch square baking pan

Steam asparagus over boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Refresh under cold water; drain. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Combine asparagus
and ricotta in small bowl

Add a handful of salt to the large stock pot of boiling water. Add the lasagna noodles
and stir. Bring back to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the
noodles and rinse with lukewarm water

Spread half the white sauce in bottom of pan. Top with single layer of lasagna
noodles, trimming to fit. Cover with 1/2 cup white sauce. Top with half of asparagus
mixture. Top with half each of Swiss cheese and bacon. Top with another layer of
noodles. Cover with remaining white sauce Top with remaining asparagus mixture,
Swiss cheese and bacon. Cover with remaining noodles. Drizzle top with tomato
sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Can be prepared 1 day ahead (cover and

Bring Asparagus lasagna to room temperature if made in advance

Set oven rack to center position and heat oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit

Bake Asparagus lasagna until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven
and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing