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
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
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
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