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to all countries and times: they not only harmonize with all the
other pleasures, but remain to console us for their loss.”
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"In the nineteenth century, it was traditional to
serve three courses of
asparagus--thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac--to a French groom
on the night before the wedding. The modern French gentleman has
discarded the noble asparagus for the more romantic passion
prompter - Champagne."
~ Sharon Tyler Herbst
Zanne Early Zakroff
4 pounds asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Six 7-by-6 1/4-inch sheets of instant
(no boil) lasagne
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
7 ounces mild goat cheese,
such as Montrachet
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup heavy cream
Cut the tip off each asparagus spear and reserve them.
of 2 large shallow baking pans toss half the asparagus stalks with
half the oil,
coating them well, and roast them in a preheated 500-degree
F oven shaking pans
every few minutes for 5 to 10 minutes or until they
the asparagus with salt to taste and let it cool. Cut the roasted asparagus into
1/2-inch lengths and reserve it.
In a large bowl of cold water let the lasagne soak 15 minutes or until softened.
a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour, and cook the roux over moderately low
stirring, 3 minutes. Add the broth and water in
a stream, whisking, simmer mixture 5
minutes and whisk in the goat
cheese, zest and salt to taste, whisking until sauce
is smooth. Drain the
pasta well, arrange one sheet of it
in each of 2 buttered
baking dishes and spread each sheet
with one-fourth of the sauce.
Top the sauce with one-fourth of the reserved roasted asparagus and
asparagus with 1/3 cup Parmesan. Continue
to layer pasta,
sauce, asparagus and
Parmesan in same manner, ending with
In a bowl beat the cream with a pinch of salt until it holds soft peaks.
the reserved asparagus tips decoratively on the pasta, spoon
over pasta and
asparagus tips spreading it with back of spoon,
and sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup
Parmesan on top. Bake lasagne in middle
of preheated 400-degree F. oven 20 to 30
minutes or until golden and bubbling and let it stand for 10 minutes before
serving. Serves 8.
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