There are so many different versions of lasagna. I always discover a new one, mainly when I go to Italy because my mum or my sister always come up with something new. They are usually hand me down recipes, from neighbours and friends which I always find to be the best.
This is because they have been tried and tested by different people, several times and most importantly they are not too difficult. Difficult stuff belongs to chefs who cook for restaurants and I am certainly not one of them.
I like "peasant and rustic" everyday types of recipes to dish out to my family, nothing too fancy but fancy enough for make you scream out more!
Asparagus and ham lasagna isn't new, I had it before but I never really tried making it myself. It is scrummy, delicate and lighter than the classic meat version.
When I make lasagne I always make a large portion so we can eat the leftovers the day after (it keeps very well in the fridge for a few days). I prefer to use fresh lasagne sheets as they are really easy and they can be found in most supermarkets..unless you want to make your own then that's even better.
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 45 minutes
- fresh lasagne sheets - 400 g - about 15 sheets
- fresh asparagus - 700 g - 6 cups
- grated parmesan cheese - to sprinkle
- ham - 240 g - 1 + 2/3 cup
- olive oil
- butter - knob
- For the bechamel sauce:
- milk - 1,5 Liters - 1.58 qt
- butter - 100 g - 1/2 cup
- plain flour - 80 g - 3/4 cup
- grated nutmeg - pinch
- salt and pepper
Clean and peel the asparagus if they are large. Remove the thicker ends and cut the tips off.
My mum is prepping them in this photo. As you can see there is far more asparagus then what's needed in the recipe. It makes me wonder why I am the way I am when I cook double portions for everything!
Mammaaaa! How many people are you expecting for lunch??! Keep peeling.. peeling..peeling..
Cut the asparagus stalks into smaller pieces and cook them until soft in salty boiling water then drain.
Whiz the stems into a puree and set aside
Cook the asparagus tips for a few minutes in a pan with a little olive oil, just enough to softed them. Do not overcook them, you want them to be quite crunchy.
Make the bechamel sauce. First warm the milk up.
In a saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter with the flour and with a wooden spoon stir it and mix it well.
Now switch off the heat and slowly add the warm milch stirring very well and all the time to avoid lumps.
Put the sauce back on the stove and cook it over a gentle heat until it begins to thicken.
When it comes to the boil let it bubble up for 8 to 10 minutes stirring all the time. In the last two minutes of cooking add salt and pepper and some grated nutmeg.
Begin to assemble your lasagna. Put a few tbsp of bechamel sauce on the bottom of your baking tray and a couple of lasagna sheets.
Spread some asparagus puree on top, a few slices of ham, grated parmesan cheese and again bechamel sauce. Continue with the layers until the end of your ingredients.
Finish off with a layer of bechamel, pieces of ham and the asparagus tip. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and add a few knobs of butter.
Cover up with a sheet of tin foil and cook at 190C - 375F for 35 minutes. Remove the foil after 20 minutes then continue cooking for the remaining 15 minutes or until nice and golden on top.