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Iron Mountain Spring Lasagna

This white lasagna is based on a recipe from Iron Mountain’s Lisa Carubini, who tasted the dish on a trip to her family hometown of Monterosso, in the Marche region of Italy. With its tender asparagus, sweet peas and fresh milk for the delicate besciamella, it’s perfect for spring.

Ingredients

  • 5–6    Italian sausages
  • 2    zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2    cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1    cup fresh peas
  • 2    cups fresh asparagus, cut on the bias
  • 3    cups besciamella (recipe follows)
  • 8    ounces freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1    16-ounce package lasagna noodles (or use fresh)

For besciamella (the Italian version of béchamel sauce):

  • 6    tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6    tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2    cups whole milk, heated
  • 1    teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

For filling:Remove Italian sausage from casing and crumble into large sauté pan. Brown sausage. Remove from pan and drain off oil. Pour off all but enough drippings from the pan to lightly sauté vegetables, in steps if needed, until vegetables are just tender. Cool to room temperature.

For besciamella (the Italian version of béchamel sauce):In heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour 1/2and cook, whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, not allowing mixture to brown. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and bring just to a simmer, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened to a creamy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool for a few minutes before using.

For lasagna:Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook lasagna noodles to desired tenderness, drain. In a 12-by-18-inch pan assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of besciamella in the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of pasta, a scattering of vegetables and sausage, a layer of besciamella, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, until all sauce, filling and pasta are used up. The top layer should be pasta with besciamella over it. Top the lasagna with grated Parmigiano and bake, loosely covered in the oven, until the sauce is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Wine pairing: Merlot