Fresh Spinach Lasagna with Béchamel & Duxelles

This light and lovely vegetarian entrée is packed with spring favorites!

Ingredients:
6 cups milk
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch spinach, thoroughly washed and dried
F&L duxelles
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 pound ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 cups grated Grana-style cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked very al dente and drained
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. For the sauce: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is almost boiling. In another small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook this mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture. Stir vigorously until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. For the lasagna: Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the spinach, duxelles and ½ cup of the parsley and cook until well-combined, pressing any excess moisture out of the spinach greens as you go. Set this mixture aside.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining parsley, ricotta cheese, eggs and ⅔ cup of the Grana-style cheese.

4. Oil a large baking pan. First, layer 1½ to 2 cups of the béchamel, followed by a layer of noodles, then half of the spinach mixture and all the mozzarella cheese. Next, add another 1½ to 2 cups of the béchamel, another layer of noodles, all of the ricotta mixture, and the remaining spinach mixture. Finally, add the rest of the béchamel, the remaining noodles and sprinkle the remaining Grana-style cheese over top. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and cook for another 10 minutes. Allow the lasagna to cool for about 15 minutes prior to serving.

Poached Duck Eggs over Asparagus & Morel Mushrooms

This elegant presentation is sure to wow any dinner guest.

Ingredients:
3-4 duck eggs
½ pound asparagus, ends snapped and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 cups morel mushrooms, thoroughly washed and dried
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. To poach the eggs, half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add a hefty pinch of salt. Meanwhile, crack each egg into its own small bowl and add a teaspoon of vinegar to each. Stir the boiling water vigorously with a balloon whisk until you have a whirlpool then immediately (and softly!) slip the egg into the pot. Turn the heat down low, and cook for three minutes. Gently lift eggs out of the pot and drain on paper towels.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter or heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and mushrooms cook until both are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. To serve, add a serving of the asparagus and mushroom mixture to a plate, and then top with a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Lemon-Pepper Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

Bright with the flavors of lemon and smoked salmon, this pasta is a light and lovely lunch dish!

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh lemon-pepper pasta
½ pound asparagus, ends snapped and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ pound smoked salmon, broken into bite-sized pieces with a fork
¼ cup grated Grana-style cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and French tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until the stalks are barely tender (but not too soft or mushy), 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well and transfer pasta to the skillet. Immediately toss pasta with the asparagus, and then top with the smoked salmon, Grana-style cheese, lemon zest and fresh herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper, if needed.

Pasta Primavera

This colorful spring pasta is incredibly versatile—feel free to add in any of your favorite veggies!

Ingredients:
1 pound bucatini pasta
¼ pound baby carrots, trimmed of greens and sliced into coins
½ pound asparagus, ends snapped and sliced into ¼-inch-thick pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup freshly-shelled English peas
¼ cup thinly sliced leeks, white part only
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
⅔ cup grated Grana-style cheese
½ cup crème fraîche, at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, asparagus, English peas and leeks. Cook until vegetables are barely tender (but not too soft or mushy), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well and transfer pasta to the skillet. Immediately toss pasta with vegetables, grated Grana cheese, crème fraîche and herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper, if needed.

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