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Cafe Metro Asparagus Lasagna

4 lbs. cleaned and stemmed asparagus
1 T. olive oil
2 C. chopped onions
1 C. chopped chives
1 lb. lasagna noodles
6 C. 2 percent milk
1 C. flour
1-1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/3 C. cottage cheese
1-1/3 C. crumbled feta cheese
1 C. grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. grated Swiss cheese
2-1/2 t. lemon zest
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut the cleaned asparagus into 1-inch pieces, separating out the tips. Set aside. Sauté the onions until soft. Add chives 1 minute before removing from heat. Combine with the asparagus and set aside.

Cook the lasagna noodles al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Rinse, drain, and cool. While the noodles cook, prepare the sauce.

In a large pot scald 5 cups of the milk. Whisk the remaining 1 cup cold milk into the flour until mixture is smooth. Whisk some hot milk into the flour mixture to warm it, and, after thoroughly blending, pour this mixture into the pan of hot milk. Whisking continuously, bring mixture to a boil. Cook 5 minutes longer or until thickened. Add the cheeses (using 1/2 c. of the Parmesan) and stir to combine. Add the lemon zest and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: spray a 9 x 12 pan with vegetable oil/spray and layer as follows: noodles, sauce, asparagus; noodles, sauce, asparagus; noodles, sauce, asparagus tips. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake covered in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove cover and bake 5 minutes longer. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 12.

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