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When you think of lasagna, what comes to mind is something decadent and extraordinarily flavorful. This lasagna is a different version from the classic one with ragù and béchamel. With a new taste, this one is impossible to resist.
When I made this lasagna for the first time, I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a great way to enhance asparagus in a delicious and easy-to-make recipe for those who love them. Making lasagna can be a very challenging project Fortunately, this lasagna is not an “all-day affair” but it’s a recipe that can be made in a short time. You don’t need to cook the ragù for many hours and you don’t need to prepare the béchamel. All you need to do is to combine layer after layer of ingredients. That’s it. Easy right?
Layers of pasta
To be an authentic lasagna, you need at least five layers of pasta. That’s the Italian rule.
You can prepare fresh pasta with this recipe if you have time, but buying lasagna sheets, fresh or dry, is also excellent. Choose the ones you prefer, depending on the time you have. Some do not require pre-cooking; for others, you need to boil them for a few minutes. Do not overcook the pasta; otherwise, it will be mushy and bland.
Choose the ingredients
I always choose frozen asparagus, which is very convenient to use, but if you see fresh asparagus in season, buy them as they will make the recipe even richer in flavor.
In this recipe, use fior di latte mozzarella, but if you prefer a richer taste, use burrata or stracciatella of burrata. These have fattier ingredients and make the recipe softer and creamy.
Cooked ham is perfect for this recipe, but for a more delicate taste, turkey breast can also be suitable for this recipe.
Don’t forget the grated Parmesan cheese. It’s the final touch to add an even more robust flavor.
Three crucial pieces of advice
- Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil before baking it in the oven. This will help prevent the lasagna from darkening on the surface and help the inner layers of the lasagna cook evenly. Toward the end of baking (last 10 minutes), remove the aluminum foil to brown the top evenly.
- Let cool well before cutting the lasagna. This will allow the lasagna to settle so that you can create perfect slices.
- If you have a static oven, open the oven door slightly towards the end of cooking to remove the excess moisture and guarantee that the lasagna will be creamy and not too runny.
Cheesy Asparagus and Ham Lasagna
- 24 oz of frozen asparagus spears or fresh asparagus (680g)
- 5 fresh or dry lasagna sheets (or make them)
- 16 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese or burrata cheese (about 440g)
- 7 oz of (extra lean) cooked ham or turkey breast (about 200g)
- 4½ oz of grated Parmesan cheese (50g) and more for the finish
- A shallot or a small onion chopped
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (30ml)
- Salt and pepper
- Buy fresh or dry lasagna sheets or make them yourself.
- Boil the frozen asparagus for at least 5 few minutes. Set aside the cooking water;
- Drain and chop them into coarse pieces using a chef’s knife. Save the asparagus tips for the final topping;
- Stir fry the asparagus into a skillet with a bit of oil, the shallot or the onion coarsely chopped, salt, and pepper until they are golden;
- Put the asparagus in a blender or in a food processor with the mozzarella cheese to get a runny cream.
- If the cream is too thick, add some cooking water to have a softer texture;
- Save a few slices of mozzarella for the final topping;
- In a baking pan, place a layer of lasagna sheets, the sauce mixture, the ham, and the grated Parmesan. You should not have less than five layers. If they seem dry, add a spoon of the cooking water to make the lasagna softer;
- On the last layer (the top), add the asparagus tips, a few slices of mozzarella, and a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese;
- Cover the lasagna with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes in the middle rack position of the oven. Check the cooking process; if the lasagna is too runny, let it cook for another ten minutes with the oven door slightly open. This will help decrease the moisture in the lasagna;
- Let the lasagna cool for 30 minutes; then slice and serve it.
- Tips: asparagus lasagna is a rich main course, so combine it with some fresh crispy salad you can dress it with a little olive oil.
How to store lasagna
If there is any leftover, eat it the next day: it will taste even better warmed in the oven or microwaved for a few minutes. Otherwise, cut it into single portions and freeze it. It will keep for about one month.