Lasagna with broccoli and asiago cheese

This lasagna with broccoli and asiago cheese was invented almost by accident one day when the fridge was virtually empty, except for some lovely, freshly picked broccoli from the garden and a small piece of my favourite cheese, asiago. Of course, you can use other types of cheese according to taste, such as the more strongly flavoured such as taleggio or even the most delicate soft cheese. And other types of greens, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or cabbage can also be combined with diced pancetta. The nice thing about this is that you can make lasagna with very few simple ingredients, often those that you have lying around in the fridge. Today’s recipe is a great idea for using up broccoli, and is even good for those who don’t usually like broccoli. And again, if you are leaving for your annual summer holiday, take advantage of this great recipe to get rid of a thousand bits and pieces that are left in the fridge, and which you don’t know what to do with!

Ingredients

  • lasagne 200 grams
  • broccoli 250 grams
  • cheese 150 grams Asiago cheese
  • parmesan 100 grams
  • butter 50 grams
  • béchamel 250 millilitres
Information
90 minutes Total time
45 minutes Active time
Serves 3 persons
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Preparation

If you’re not using a ready-made sauce, start making your béchamel with butter and flour and then adding milk. Mix well so as not to get any lumps. Add salt and nutmeg to taste. Separately, blanch the broccoli and cut the cheese into cubes. Finally blanch the lasagna briefly (only if you’re using the type that requires it). Blend half the broccoli with a bit of béchamel and water from its cooking water so as to obtain a kind of creamed broccoli. Grease a baking dish and then smear some of this creamed broccoli over the bottom. Now proceed to make the layers, adding lasagna, creamed broccoli, broccoli florets, diced Asiago cheese and grated Parmesan. Add a few tablespoons of béchamel and repeat until all ingredients are used up. Finish with béchamel, parmesan cheese and some butter. Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes, then serve.

Tips
To prepare this recipe you could use various vegetables belonging to the cabbage family, and different types of cheese. The general rule is that the combination of cabbage and cheese, if well balanced, always works well. You can also combine different cheeses, creating a lasagne with cabbage or broccoli and many different cheeses, diced and mixed together. The heat of the oven, blending them, will do the rest of the work, handing you back a unique and deliciously intense flavour.
Trivia
In the famous book, The Art of Cooking, Apicius speaks of lasagna as a favourite dish of Cicero. Obviously it was not this one with broccoli and asiago cheese, but almost certainly the more famous one with Bolognese-style meat sauce. Another curiosity: the term comes from the Latin ‘lasanum’ which means container. So the container in which they were baked gave its name to the famous dish that is now envied and copied throughout the world.

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