Easter Recipes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
 Green Lasagna with Artichokes and Leeks Recipe
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Green Lasagna with Artichokes and Leeks

1/2 pound lasagna noodles
2 cups (about 1 pound) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 leeks, white and 3 inches of the green parts, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 large artichokes
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes (refer to the package directions for timing).

While the pasta is cooking, fill a large bowl with cold water. When the pasta is done, drain and place in the bowl of water to cool. After 5 minutes, drain the pasta and place the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the ricotta and Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and light golden, about 30 minutes. Remove the leeks from the pan and reserve.

Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Cut off the top half of the artichokes, including all of the prickly leaf points. Remove the tough outer leaves of the artichoke until you get to the very light green leaves. Pare the stem to reveal the light green center. If using large artichokes, cut in half lengthwise, then scoop out the prickly chokes and discard. Cut the artichokes, large or small, into thin slices lengthwise. As each is cut, place in the lemon water.

Drain the artichokes and add to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of water and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates and the artichokes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the artichokes to the leeks.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a single layer of the reserved lasagna noodles. Cover the pasta with one-third of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle one-third of leeks and artichokes over the ricotta. Spread one-third of the sauce over the vegetables. Repeat with 2 more layers. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top layer. Bake on the top rack of the oven until the top is golden and bubbling around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves eight to 10.

Wine suggestion: Pinot gris, pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.

Cook's note: This can be prepared the day before. Remove from the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes before baking.

Nutrition values per serving: calories, g fat, g carbohydrates, g fiber, g protein, mg cholesterol, mg sodium."Weir Cooking in the City" by Joanne Weir


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