Morel, Cremini, and Asparagus Lasagna
Springtime is morel season, if you can find these rare little suckers, they are worth the search. I hunted everywhere for them, but had no luck, so I substituted the dry morels so I could sate my craving. This is a luscious lasagna, full of earthy flavors. It pairs well with a light Austrian Pinot Noir or an Italian Gavi wine.
Morel, Cremini and Asparagus Lasagna
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium leeks, whiet and pale green parts only , halved lengthwise (about 2 cups)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, but on a diagonal
4 ounces morels rinsed, coarsely chopped, or 5 ounces fresh shittake mushrooms stemmed, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
3.5 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups whole milk
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1 9 ounce no-cook lasagna noodles
6 ounces fontina
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until wilted, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medum bowl. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add asparagus, mushrooms and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring often about 4 minutes. Add to bowl with leeks and toss to distribute evenly.
2. Add broth, cream and bay leaf to same skillet and boil over high heat until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and whisk to blend. Boil until sauce thickens about 4 minutes, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and season with salt an pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
4. Spread about a cup of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Lay noodles over the sauce in a single layer. Spoon the vegetable filling over the noodles in an even layer. Top with a light sprinkle of the fontina. Repeat and finish with the veggies, the fontina and the Parmesan cheese to top. Drizzle any remaining sauce over the top.
5. Cover dish tightly with foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until noodles are tender, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature about 5 minutes before serving.