Monday, October 3, 2011

Cheese All That

I made a lot of food this weekend (part of our feast/famine cycle) but the best was definitely this lasagna.  I have made lasagna several times, leaving me with several boxes of leftover 4 noodles.  Several boxes of 4 noodles means you have to make another lasagna.  A vicious lasagna cycle.

Anyway, my paean to America's Test Kitchen continues.  This is just delicious.

[Luke from across the office, asked to provide quote about the lasagna]

The best thing you've made in three months of marriage
that didn't have meat in it. 

There you have it.  Now, to the lasagna.

2 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper
15 dried no-boil lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (=1 lb)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add asparagus and cook for one minute.  Drain well.  Heat 2 T oil in large skillet, add the asparagus and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Set aside.

That brown thing is butter.  I think.
2.  Heat the remaining 2 T oil and garlic in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a large measuring cup and add enough water to make 3 1/2 cups.

3.  Spread 1/2 cup sauce evenly over the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 lasagne pan.  Lay 3 noodles crosswise over the sauce, making sure they do not touch each other or the sides of the pan.  Spread 3/4 cup prepared asparagus evenly over the noodles, 1/2 cup sauce over the asparagus and 3/4 cup Gruyere and 2 T Parmesan evenly over the sauce.  Repeat the layering of the noodles, vegetables, sauce and cheese three more times.  For the fifth and final layer, lay the final three 3 noodles crosswise over the previous layer and top with the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 cup Gruyere and 2 T Parmesan.  (The lasagne can be wrapped with plastic and refrigerated overnight or wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to 1 month.  If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator.)

4.  Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover the pan with a large sheet of foil greased with cooking spray.  Bake for 25 minutes (30 if chilled), remove foil and continue baking until top is golden brown in spots, about 15 minutes.  Remove and let rest 5 minutes.  Cut, serve, enjoy! ♥ 

This recipe came from this book - part reference and part cookbook; exhaustive.   The only downside (it's simple and so good) to the dish is that Gruyere is quite pricey.

No-boil lasagna noodles, what a great innovation.  Formerly scalded fingertips rejoice.


  1. I would have never thought to put asparagus, tomatoes, and gruyere together...but I have found that America's Test Kitchen is full of we'll have to try this. They also have a wonderful skillet lasagna recipe.

  2. haha - formerly scalded fingertips rejoice :)

  3. So good, T-bear. You must make. I heart ATK, big time.

  4. But I would never, EVER refer to you as T-party :)