Confession: In this version of the recipe, I’ve simplified everything.
We were inspired by a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman that originally appeared in The New York Times.
2 pounds asparagus
2 recipes olive oil béchamel
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chervil, parsley, chives, basil, arugula
1/2 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a pasta pot with water, bring to boil, and lightly blanche the asparagus. Remove asparagus after 2-3 minutes and set aside.
Whisk 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the asparagus into the béchamel, along with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and adjust salt (I never add salt to anything).
Spray 9X13 baking dish with olive oil. Bring the water back to a rolling boil, and drop in enough lasagna noodles to cover the surface of the baking dish (for my rectangular dish, that’s three lasagna noodles). Boil just until the pasta is flexible (about three minutes for no-boil lasagna).
Spread a very thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the dish. Cover with a layer of pasta. Spread béchamel over the noodles, and layer the asparagus and herbs. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Parboil another layer’s worth of pasta, and repeat with two more layers. End with a layer of pasta, and if you have any béchamel left, spread it over the top and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the lasagna, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling. Uncover, and continue to bake until the top just begins to color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit five to 10 minutes, and serve. Serves six.