Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lasagna with Asparagus, Leeks, and Morels

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound thick asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (**We forgot these or didn't have them or something. Whatever the case -- we didn't have them.)
  • 4 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, rinsed, coarsely chopped, or 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, coarsely chopped (**I was not aware of this, but morel mushrooms are REALLY expensive. $60 a pound expensive. SIXTY DOLLARS A POUND! That is nuts.)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 9-ounce package no-cook lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
  • 1 1/4 cups (about) finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook until wilted, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet. Add asparagus, mushrooms, and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add to bowl with leeks and toss to distribute evenly. 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 1 minute, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg; discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Vegetables and sauce can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat four 2-cup shallow oval or round baking dishes with nonstick spray. Break off corners of noodles to fit flatly into dishes. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce into each dish. Place 1 noodle atop sauce. Scatter 1/4 cup vegetable mixture over, spreading in even layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons sauce over. Sprinkle rounded tablespoonful cheese over each. Repeat layering 2 more times with noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheese. Drizzle remaining sauce over lasagnas. (**We used one big dish. We really didn't have enough, but that was partly because we forgot we were supposed to have a pound of asparagus.)
  • Cover each dish tightly with foil. Place on 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 6 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving.


Here was our final product. Deviled quail eggs, Quail-Toad-in-the-Hole in Flat French Bread, Lasagna with Leeks & Shiitakes, and a fanned strawberry on balsamic reduction.


  1. This looks great! Will you post the balsamic reduction or is that so simple I shouldn't need directions? :)

    $60/pound - did you subsitute?

  2. Yum! I wonder what a $60/pound mushroom tastes like.

  3. Basically, you just boil down the balsamic. Put a good amount into a pot, so that it has some room to reduce. It doesn't need to be many inches deep, although I suppose it could be. You want a deep-ish pot, because balsamic vinegar bubbles up A LOT when it boils. You want to watch it pretty closely and stir it. When it's...maybe half reduced? you can take it off the heat & let it cool. Important though -- watch closely...I didn't one time and it became caked to my pot. Took many many hours of soaking followed by vigorous scrubbing. If you don't burn it, though, it's very easy and tasty.

  4. And, uh, yeah, we used shiitakes.