Sunday, March 17, 2013

Asparagus Pesto Lasagna for Two

Have you ever watched that show called "Kitchen Nightmares?"  Neither have I...but I felt as if I was experiencing my own little kitchen nightmare when I made this dish last week. In theory, it's a great idea, and one I plan to repeat...with different ingredients. Who doesn't love a great lasagna. But it's rare that you have enough people over to warrant making a large batch of it. This recipe calls for making the lasagna in a loaf pan. I think this is a great concept, you just have to break the lasagna noodles in half to fit the pan, and layer just like you would for a regular lasagna.

So at which point did this become a kitchen nightmare? The moment I removed the lasagna from the oven. It was sitting in a bed of oil and even after training a bit and putting back in the oven, hoping it just needed a little more time, it remained an oily, slippery mess. The kicker is it tasted great, but it was not something I would ever serve to others.

So why post it? I'm convinced that the pesto is to blame (I used a jarred variety which may have been a bit too oily), and perhaps simply making this with tomato sauce and meat would have worked out just fine. Again, it's a great concept and something that I will try in a different form in the near future. This is proof that not everything I post is perfect, but I keep experimenting anyway, and come away smarter than I went in.

Asparagus Pesto Lasagna for 2


  • 1 cup whole basil leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB grated parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 sheet fresh pasta or 4 lasagna noodles , cooked, rinsed, and coated with olive oil
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Instructions:

    Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor and blend. (If too thick, add water or more olive oil.) Season with salt and set aside.

    Sauté asparagus in olive oil over high heat for 4 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a small loaf pan (about 4" x 8") with butter. Combine mascarpone and pesto. Cut pasta to fit dish and place enough noodles in pan to cover bottom; top with 1/3 cup fontina cheese, 1/3 of the asparagus, and 1/3 of the pesto mixture; then sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat layering two more times with remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Discard foil and continue baking 10 additional minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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