Sausage, Chard and Lemon Lasagna

DSC02482I came across this recipe while going through files of old saved recipes I hadn’t yet tried. This one stood out as perfect for this time of the year—comfort food for the lingering cold with ingredients and flavors that represent spring is on the horizon! It was different than any other lasagna I’ve ever made. Instead of red sauce, it’s made with a creamy white sauce. I especially love how the very thin lemon slices provide just the right amount of flavor to the dish. This one is perfect for an early spring dinner. 

Sausage, Chard, and Lemon Lasagna (from Martha Stewart Living, March 2011; serves 4)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
6 no-boil lasagna noodles

Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a skillet over high heat, breaking up pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce and lemons. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 27 minutes.

Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

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