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Old 11-01-2004, 07:40 PM   #1
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Asparagus Lasagna

Very great twist for asparagus.

Asparagus Lasagna
4 lb Asparagus, trimmed
3 tb EVOO
Fresh lasagna noodles (not dried)
4 tb Unsalted butter
1/4 c AP flour
1 1/2 c Chicken broth
1/2 c Water
7 oz Goat cheese
1 ts Freshly grated lemon zest
1 2/3 c Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 c Heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1.Cut the tips off each asparagus spear and reserve them.
2.Toss the asparagus stalks with half the oil, coating them well, and roast them in a preheated 500 F oven, shaking the pans every few minutes, for 5-10 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 set aside.
3.In a saucepan melt the butter, add the flour, and cook the roux over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth and the water in a stream, whisking continuously. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, and whisk in the goat cheese, the zest, and salt and pepper to taste; whisk until the sauce is smooth.
4.Arrange 1 sheet of pasta in the bottom of an 8 in baking dish. Spread with one fourth of the sauce. Top the sauce in each dish with one fourth of the reserved roasted asparagus and sprinkle the asparagus with 1/3 cup of the Parmesan. Continue to layer the pasta, the sauce, the asparagus, and the Parmesan in the same manner, ending with a sheet of pasta.
5.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 the pasta and the asparagus tips, spreading it with the back of the spoon, and sprinkle 1/3 cup Parmesan on top. Bake the lasagna in a preheated 400 F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 2, 8 in pans of lasagna.

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Old 11-02-2004, 06:08 AM   #2
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KG, Wasn't this a recipe from Sara Moulton? I think it's the same one I have, and I can promise it is most awesome!!
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:07 PM   #3
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I got it from a friend, so it might be? I have not seen Sara's recipe so I have no idea. Anyways, it is a really great recipe and is wonderful with a big salad and crusty bread.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:45 AM   #4
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If one wants to be fastidious about semantics, the word “lasagna” refers only to the pasta that’s cut in wide ribbons. In Italy, the recipes which contain this pasta are called lasagna plus another word that signifies the specific dish. For example, the classic lasagna which alternates layers of tomato ragu with cream sauce topped with grated cheese is properly referred to as lasagne pasticcate; when made with a dried-mushroom sauce, it's called lasagne con sugo di funghi secchi. Another, featuring beef & mushrooms, is known as lasagne casalinga, and very good it is, too. Commercially-made noodles come plain or curly, white or green, but they are among the most basic of pasta dishes to prepare.

One summer, at the resort where I had worked for five years, an eggplant lasagna was on the weekday menu. The kitchen had its own herb garden – and an abundance of fresh basil & parsley was available for this dish.

At home, I’ve made various types of lasagne (always using fresh pasta), including a 16th-century style containing sole fillets, béchamel sauce, and Gruyère; a three-cheese version (Parmesan, cottage, and mozzarella); Lasagna Northumbria (lobster!); and, yes, a dessert lasagna – an authentic old Italian version of noodle kugel beloved by East Europeans.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:53 AM   #5
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Konditor, I would love to have the beef/mushroom, sole/bechamel, and dessert recipes, please. Entirely at your convenience.

I will have to look around for fresh pasta, but sounds like it will be worth it!
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:24 PM   #6
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Mudbug…here’s the recipe for Lasagna with Cheese & Nuts:

½ lb broken lasagne noodles (I make my own)
1½ cups cottage cheese (not the dry curds), drained
4 fl. oz. heavy cream
2 Tb raisins or dried currants
½ tsp cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 oz. cold butter
1/3 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Break noodles into bite-sized pieces and cook them in boiling water, until tender; drain well.

Mix cheese with cream, egg yolks, 1 Tbsp sugar, raisins, and a pinch of salt. Mix in the noodles.

Grease a 4-cup soufflé dish and pour in the noodle mixture. Combine 2 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon, and flour; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the noodles. Bake in 425° oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is set and top is golden.

A Slovak friend of mine has given me his (German) wife’s recipe for a similar sweet-noodle dessert:

½ lb. medium egg noodles
2 quarts water
½ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar, or to taste
½ cup ground walnuts
4 ounces butter, melted

Boil noodles in salted water until done; drain well. Combine sugar & ground nuts. Serve the hot noodles and let each person add & mix in sugared nuts and butter to taste. (Instead of nuts, Mrs. B. sometimes uses crushed poppyseeds mixed with sugar, or sugar & cinnamon.)

I'll have to ferret out the lasagne-sole recipe later; meanwhile, I can offer my method for béchamel sauce, the first white sauce I had to accomplish in my Cordon Bleu training:

16 fl. oz. whole milk
1 oa unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
½ tsp each freshly grated nutmeg & white pepper

In heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat until it is foamy. Add flour, a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook over very low heat until until flour granules have ruptures and the mixture looks fluffy. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until mixture is smooth. Season with nutmeg, salt & white pepper. Continue cooking until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent sticking & scorching. Simmer steadily for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. The consistency of the sauce shoulc be similar to that of thick cream. If sauce is not used at once, refrigerate it with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper laid directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Note: This recipe will yield the 2 cups you’ll need for the seafood lasagne.
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for your speedy response. These look wonderful.

um....if it's not too ungrateful, don't forget the beef/msuhroom recipe as well!
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:55 PM   #8
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And I cannot wait for the lasagne-sole recipe! Thank you, Konditor!
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:27 PM   #9
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kansasgirl - that looks absolutely wonderful!!!! It would even make a nice hors devourers before your meal - I can see it with lots of things - lamb being one of them!!! Or a nice piece of grouper - or...ok, maybe with anything!! LOL
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:07 PM   #10
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I agree that lasagna can be made with all types of ingredients. One of my most favorite recipes is for a vegetable 'lasagna' that uses zucchini strips for noodles instead of pasta. I thought I would throw out this recipe - it is quite delicious.

Fruit Lasagna
2 - 20 oz cans pie filling (apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, or combination)
8 Lasagna noodles, cooked
Filling:
2 c Ricotta cheese
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c Sugar
2 tb Liquor (Amaretto, brandy, Kirsch, rum)
Topping:
6 tb Flour
6 tb Brown sugar, packed
1/4 c Oats, quick-cooking
1/2 ts Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg to taste
4 tb Butter, cut into pieces
1 c Sour cream or yogurt (for garnish)
1/3 c Brown sugar (for garnish)
1/3 c Nuts, toasted, chopped (almonds, walnuts, pecans), (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350F
1.Combine filling ingredients (ricotta cheese, egg, sugar and liquor) in medium bowl; blend well.
2.Spread 1 can of pie filling over bottom of greased 13x9 pan.
3.Layer 1/2 of the noodles over filling, then spread cheese mixture over noodles. Top with remaining noodles, then remaining can of pie filling.
4.For topping, combine flour, 6 Ttb brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over last layer of pie filling.
5.Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
6.For garnish blend sour cream/yogurt and brown sugar until creamy. To serve, cut pieces of lasagna and top with cream topping and toasted nuts.
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