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ASPARAGUS LASAGNA
Makes 8 servings

4 pounds asparagus
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
8 ounces Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
15 lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

Bend asparagus until stalks snap at natural breaking point; reserve
bases for another use. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In large
pot of boiling water, cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under
cold running water; drain again. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of asparagus
tips; set aside. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk
in milk; bring to a boil whisking. Reduce heat to medium-low;
cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from
heat. Stir in gruyere cheese, lemon rind and juice, salt, pepper
and nutmeg until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles for
about 10 minutes or just until tender.

Arrange 3 noodles in 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the
sauce, the one-quarter of the asparagus, then one quarter of the
mozzarella. Repeat layers 3 more times, then top with final layer
of noodles and sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan over top. Place pan on
baking sheet; bake in 375 F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until
bubbly and top is light golden. Sprinkle reserved asparagus over
top. Bake 5 minutes or until asparagus is heated through. Let
stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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