Recipe from Bite This!

So I’m trying to incorporate 1-2 meals (at least) per week into our meal plan that are meatless, in order to hopefully save us a bit of $$ on groceries.

I found this recipe on Bite This! and it looked delicious. I love asparagus, and it gave me an excuse to make some more homemade pesto – which I love!! So I decided to go for it.

This was really good! You could definitely add in some chicken, if you wanted to add a bit of protein, or maybe some white beans. Onion might be a nice addition as well. But, honestly, it didn’t need anything!

I called this fake-out lasagna because I didn’t have any lasagna noodles, so I used some Barilla Plus multi-grain rotini instead, and layered it like you would lasagna.

I actually prepped this 2 days (on Sunday for Tuesday dinner) in advance, covered the baking dish and refrigerated it. I took it out on Tuesday and baked it. And I plan to use the leftovers for Thursday, because it will be a busy night.

Ingredients:
16 ou box rotini noodles (or noodles of choices)
1/3 c AP flour
3.5 c low-fat milk
6 T pesto (I used just a bit more than this)
2 T grated Parm
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 t olive oil
1 1/4 lb asparagus, trimmed and chopped into bite sized pieces – set the tips to the side
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c shredded mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Whisk flour and 1/2 c milk into small saucepan until smooth. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk, and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for about 1 minute, until thickened.

Remove from heat and add in the pesto, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside and reserve 1 cup of the sauce.

Warm oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add asparagus (not including tips) and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic for about 1 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Prep a 9×13 baking dish with oil or cooking spray.

Layer in 1/3 of the noodles, 1/2 of the asparagus, 3/4 c mozzarella and half of the sauce.

Add another layer of pasta, remaining sauce (minus the 1 cup that you reserved), remaining cooked asparagus, and 3/4 c mozzarella.

Finally top with 1 more layer of noodles, then the reserved white sauce. Sprinkle with the asparagus spears and the remaining mozzarella. (At this point I covered it tightly with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator.)

Bake, uncovered for about 35-40 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

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