Spring Lasagna Rolls

These petite lasagna rolls, layered with fresh asparagus, lemony sauce, and herb pesto, make a terrific potluck entrée.
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Spring Lasagna Rolls

These luscious, petite lasagna rolls, layered with fresh asparagus, lemony sauce, and herb pesto, make a terrific potluck entrée. After you make the fillings and sauces, assembly is easy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb lasagna (10 pasta ribbons)
  • 1 lb asparagus (about 20 spears), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 15-oz container ricotta
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 small leek, white portion only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb sugar snap peas
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 6 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt

Preparation

1. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package; drain, and place noodles side by side on a piece of wax paper on your countertop. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for one minute. Remove and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to halt cooking. Drain and set aside.

2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, and egg until smooth. Add spinach and pulse until coarsely chopped. Scrape filling into a bowl.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 2 minutes. Add milk; reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and white pepper, and season with salt. Remove béchamel from heat; fold in zest.

4. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9" x 13" casseroles with oil. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over each cooked noodle and sprinkle with leek slices. Cut each noodle into thirds. Place 2 asparagus pieces at the top of each noodle section, roll up, and place in casseroles, seam side down. Spoon béchamel over rolls; cover and bake, 35 minutes.

5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook sugar snap peas, scallions, parsley, mint, and arugula for 1 minute. Strain vegetables, reserving cooking water, then plunge in a bowl of ice water; remove and pat dry. Place mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse to chop well. While processing, slowly pour in olive oil, 2-3 tbsp of reserved cooking water, yogurt, and remaining 1 tsp salt, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until pesto is mostly smooth. In a saucepan over low heat, warm pesto, stirring. Take care not to overheat. (If sauce seems thick, stir in 1-2 tbsp water to thin out.)

5. Spoon pesto over baked lasagna rolls and serve, garnished with mint leaves.