Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lasagnette With White Asparagus

How is it to eat a botanical book?

There are things and ingredients that seem so nice and cute that you would really want to be inspired and enhance them properly.
Of course, when you want to have an idea you can watch out of your real or mental window and go on for months just blabbering inside.

This was the case for me with parsley-decorated lasagne, a concept I had seen flipping through some Martha Stewart's book: just before the final roll out of your pasta, when folding for the last time, add some leaves of parsley and those teeny tiny leaves of basil as a middle layer and you will find yourself with some of cutest vintage looking sheets of pasta.

In this case pasta was made with plain (AP) wheat flour, as rustic texture is not needed.
You will have to work with small pieces and roll them in different directions if you'd like the leaves to hold the right proportions.

Thing is, usually lasagne come with heavy and colorful dressing and sauces that hide all the magic, and I never made it other than for my personal pleasure.

But then, another ingredient comes over, another one of those you're not too sure about.

White asparagus are all the rage in North Eastern Italy during the month of May. Very subtle in flavour, people seem to be able to say if a particular kind is from a specific town or from a village 2 miles away. I didn't want to blog about the usual pairing with eggs or with salt and vinegar, and that's when the two odds paired in my mind.
The pale and delicate shades of asparagus would complement and go well together the fairy design of herbed lasagne.

To give flavour without disturbing the palette, pesto was the answer.

Cut the lasagne in squares, boil them individually for about 90 seconds and steam the cleaned asparagus (or place them in a microwave-proof dish with half an inch of water and nuke them for 5 minutes).

Lay one square on the plate, place an asparagus layer and brush with some pesto, previously diluted with one or two tablespoons of the hot and starchy water where you boiled the pasta.

Repeat, repeat, repeat, enjoy.


  1. I love your "vintage" pasta look from the parsley!! The lasagne looks so delicious!

  2. ciao anna,
    secondo me gli asparagi bianchi hanno un che di porno.... :)