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Asparagus, Leek and 3-Cheese Rollatini

by Anthony Salemme, contributing chef

For a light-ish Spring dinner this comes together somewhat quickly

Pasta and filling

1 pound lasagna noodles

1 pound asparagus (ends trimmed and peeled; chopped into 2 inch pieces)

1 pound leeks (trimmed, sliced thin, and washed)

4 tablespoons butter

salt and white pepper

3 cloves garlic (minced fine)

1 pound ricotta cheese

8 ounces mozzarella (grated )

1 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 lemon (zest it first. then squeeze out the juice)

2 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped fine)

Mornay Sauce

1 ½ cups heavy cream

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup butter

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 lemon (zest it, and reserve the juice)

Line a 13”x9” baking dish or roasting pan with lasagna noodles. You can layer them, top with boiling water, and let sit while you make the filling. This will make the noodles pliable enough to roll them. When soft, drain excess water.

Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for 5 min. until fork tender.  Remove from pan and dunk into cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain.

Saute the leeks with butter, garlic, thyme, salt and white pepper for about 10 to 12 minutes until they just begin to caramelize.

In a bowl mix the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and juice, the cooled asparagus and leeks.

Next make the sauce

In a small saucepan add the butter and nutmeg and lemon zest and heat until fragrant. Next add the cream and Parmesan cheese, bring to a simmer and let reduce for about 15 minutes.

Assembly

Pull out a sheet of plastic wrap about 12-15 inches wide. Lay out lasagna noodles one after another 6-7 at a time. Spread half the cheese mixture onto the pasta then roll it like a jelly roll. Repeat with remaining noodles. You should have 12-15 Rollatini. Place in a greased baking pan. Top with half the sauce. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, covered – and then uncovered ,for 20 minutes longer until slightly browned. When finished, squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the pasta. Serve with remaining sauce. Enjoy!

Anthony loves to cook and share recipes. You can follow him on Instagram at – @mealpvd and online at www.anthonysalemme.com