Another winner from the Wall Street Journal! How can you go wrong with peas and asparagus and lemony ricotta! I loved this!
3/4 lb. lasagna noodles (or whatever will make 3 layers
2 T. olive oil, plus more
5 T. butter
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
3 leeks, white and green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh peas
1 1/2 cups asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1/2″ pieces
2 1/4 cups ricotta cheese, strained (I did not strain mine-it didn’t seem watery)
2 t. lemon zest
1 T. chopped chives
1 T. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped chervil (I never have so I would try mint next time!)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. white pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
1 # mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/3 cup grated fontina cheese
1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a 3 quart casserole for the lasagna. Cook the noodles according to directions, until barely al dente and drain and toss with oil so they do not stick together. Heat 1 T. olive oil and 1 T. butter together in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook onions, leeks and garlic 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring a pot of salted water to boil to blanch the peas and asparagus. Have ready a pan of ice water to cool the vegetables down after blanching. Blanch the peas for 1 minute, drain, chill in ice water and set aside. Blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Drain, chill down and mix with peas.
Mix ricotta, zest and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Make the bechamel sauce: combine milk, chopped onion, bay leaves and salt and white pepper together in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until it reduces by a quarter. Strain and set aside. Wipe pan out and make roux: melt 4 T. butter over low heat, stir in the flour and cook 3 minutes, until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and whisk in milk, cooking for 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add cayenne.
Assembly:Spread about 1 1/2 cups of bechamel on the bottom of the lasagna pan. Add a layer of noodles, 3/4 cup of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the onion leek mixture, 1/3 of the asparagus pea mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat two more times. Cover the last layer with sliced mozzarella. Mix fontina, pecorino and Parmesan cheeses together and sprinkle on top. Drizzle the remaining bechamel on top.
Bake until cheese melts, about 45 minutes. Let lasagna rest 15 minutes before serving.