Years and years ago I remember consuming one of the most delicious meals of my life.
Delicious and delectable ~ for a variety of reasons.
- the food was exquisite
- the atmosphere was family and good friends
- the meal was prepared with love
- the entree was crafted throughout an entire day’s ritual
- the chef was someone very near and dear to my heart
Uncle Tom – not really my uncle, but you know…
He poured over this asparagus lasagna for hours and hours, crafting absolute perfection.
I was impatient as a child, but became enthralled and fascinated by his process and the time he took to impress every little detail.
The meal was amazing and I will always be inspired by this man in my life.
Cheers to you, Tom. Cheers to creating something so very special. Cheers to spring. Cheers to asparagus lasagna.
Lemon Asparagus Chicken Lasagna
2 cups + 2 Tbs. all purpose flour, divided
2 large eggs
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 yellow onion, diced
juice and zest of 1 lemon, divided
6 Tbs. butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
7 oz. aged Gruyere cheese, shredded
7 oz. classic Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a ceramic or glass baking dish, toss the asparagus and chicken with half the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, and 2 Tbs. melted butter. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tenders are cooked all the way through. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat.
Meanwhile, mound 2 cups flour in a large bowl and create a well in the center for the two eggs. Using a fork, whisk the eggs into the flour. Very carefully add water by the teaspoon or tablespoon (you’re going by feel for these lasagna noodles), and form the perfect dough ball – not too wet and not too dry. (Follow these step by step instructions for homemade pasta).
Allow the dough ball to rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out by hand into long lasagna sheets, or use a pasta maker. You’ll want 8, 8″ long sheets when all is said and done.
Melt the remaining 4 Tbs. butter over low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and more salt and pepper. Continue cooking on low, stirring, until onion is translucent. Add the remaining lemon juice and zest, cream, nutmeg, and 2 Tbs. flour. Whisk together until thick and smooth.
Spread a little bit of the cream sauce out on the bottom of an 8×8″ square baking pan. Top with 2 lasagna sheets. Layer 1/4 of the cooked asparagus and then 1/4 of the shredded chicken. Top with 1/4 of the grated cheeses. Repeat three times, ending with the cheese.
Bake, uncovered for about 20-30 more minutes.
Allow to cool and then refrigerate overnight. Reheat in the oven for absolute perfection. (Lasagna is always better the next day and this is no exception).