For the besciamella sauce: Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk to avoid scorching. Meanwhile, dice the butter and begin to melt it over medium heat in a separate saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and nutmeg. When butter has fully melted and has stopped bubbling, whisk the flour mixture thoroughly into the melted butter. Allow this flour mixture to simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. When the milk is steaming and looks like it is about to simmer, quickly add all of the flour roux to the hot milk while stirring vigorously with the whisk. (The whisking will allow the roux to fully incorporate into the milk and you will start to see it thickening.) Bring to a full rolling boil, whisking constantly, to thicken the milk and flour mixture. Transfer mixture to a bowl or casserole dish to fully cool down in your refrigerator.
For the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the besciamella sauce with the pesto Genovese and salt. Begin assembling the lasagna by laying a sheet of raw fresh pasta down in the greased baking dish (cut and piece together the pasta if necessary to fit your vessel). Next, pour a half cup of the sauce mixture onto the pasta. Using a spatula or desired utensil, spread the sauce evenly, making sure to get it to the edges and in the corners of the dish. Sprinkle over the sauce layer a handful of asparagus, handful of mozzarella, light handful of pecorino, light handful of basil. (Keep in mind, there are 7 layers with these ingredients, so use sparingly on each layer; the pine nuts will be distributed on 2 layers of your choosing, as they are not needed on each layer.) For the 8th and final layer, begin by laying the rest of your pasta on top of the 7th layer, then spread the rest of your sauce on top of the pasta, and sprinkle the rest of your mozzarella on the sauce. Finish the assembly by evenly sprinkling the crouton crumbs on top of the mozzarella. Cover the dish well with foil to trap in moisture to allow the raw pasta to cook.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover the lasagna and bake until the lasagna has crisped and browned to your liking, another 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with warm alfredo sauce or as desired.
Piecing together the pasta to form your layers is very forgiving; it is okay if the pasta does not fully reach to edges of the dish or each other in the middle of a layer as the pasta will expand when it cooks. Remember to taste for salt as the amounts recommended in the recipe are subject to individual taste.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Broders' Cucina Italiana, Minneapolis, MN