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Asparagus Lasagne



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Asparagus, 1880
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La Belle Cuisine


"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

Asparagus Lasagne

Zanne Early Zakroff
Gourmet Archives

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.
In each 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
are crisp-tender.
Sprinkle 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.
In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour, and cook the roux over moderately low heat, 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 8-inch square
baking dishes and spread each sheet with one-fourth of the sauce.
Top the sauce with one-fourth of the reserved roasted asparagus and
sprinkle asparagus with 1/3 cup Parmesan. Continue to layer pasta,
sauce, asparagus and Parmesan in same manner, ending with a sheet
of pasta.
In a bowl beat the cream with a pinch of salt until it holds soft peaks.
Arrange the reserved asparagus tips decoratively on the pasta, spoon
the cream 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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