Baked Asparagus Cannelloni: Impressive but easy-to-make spring entreé. Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and lasagna sheets with creamy béchamel sauce.
These baked asparagus cannellonni is a guilty pleasure I can allow myself today, because it’s my birthday! Chewy mild asparagus wrapped in prosciutto ham and lasagna sheets with the creamiest and the silkiest white béchamel sauce topped with crispy Parmesan crust… It sounds like an appropriate festive dish to me! And believe me, it’s very delicious!
Asparagus has a very unique bright taste with earthy undertones. Paired with salty prosciutto ham, umami-rich Parmesan cheese and creamy béchamel sauce, asparagus tastes just perfect. It’s probably the best way to eat it. Until I come up with something even more (or equally) delicious involving asparagus, I’ll let you know.
How to Make Béchamel Sauce
These baked asparagus cannelloni are surprisingly easy to make, yet they look splendid and never fail to impress. You might need some time to master your béchamel sauce, but it’s the time spent wisely, because it’s a skill worth to master!
Use it for silky soups or soufflé, bind layers of lasagna with it, add it to your pasta or mac & cheese, make an easy casserole, gratin with it or pour it on top of your vegetable bake… It’s also perfect for making your leftovers stretch and come together in a new creamy and comforting dish.
For these baked asparagus cannelloni you want to have your béchamel sauce medium-thick. To achieve the perfect smooth consistency, melt butter, stir in flour and cook for just up to 2 minutes, before it becomes brown.
Pour some hot milk in it and keep stirring. Cook it until it thickens to your liking.
It’s totally possible to make this dish ahead and just throw everything together and bake directly before serving. There is one thing to note here, keep your béchamel sauce separated from asparagus cannelloni if you make the dish ahead.
Cover the sauce with a layer of milk so that it doesn’t dry out and form a crust. That way it will stay nice and fresh, and you will only have to pour it over your asparagus cannelloni before you are ready to bake them.
How to Make Baked Asparagus Cannelloni
The rolls themselves are very easy to assemble. I used slightly cooked lasagna sheets (you can also use gluten-free lasagna sheets if needed) and wrapped asparagus it them, putting a slice of prosciutto in between. The béchamel sauce comes on top, together with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake it for 20 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle some garden cress on top an serve immediately, straight from the oven. See the full recipe below and don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Serve these cannelloni with spring-inspired side salads such as:
Baked Asparagus Cannelloni
For the baked asparagus cannelloni:
- 4 lasagna sheets
- 16 spears asparagus
- 4 slices prosciutto ham
- 40 grams or 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 tablespoons garden cress to garnish
For the béchamel sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 300 ml or 1 1/4 cups hot milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- black pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg
- BOIL LASAGNA SHEETS: In a large saucepan, boil water, add a bit of salt and cook lasagna sheets for 6 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel in a single layer.
- ASPARAGUS: Trim the ends of asparagus spears, and peel the lower thirds. Blanche asparagus for 6 minutes in boiling water, keeping the heads above the water not to overcook them.
- BECHAMEL SAUCE: In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for just up to 2 minutes, before it becomes brown. Gradually pour hot milk in it and keep stirring. Bring to a boil and cook it until it thickens to your liking, about 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice. Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Preheat the oven to 180 °C or 350 °F.
- ASSEMBLE: Take a lasagna sheet and place a slice on prosciutto on it. Put 4 asparagus spears on it and wrap. Transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with the rest of asparagus. Pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with the garden cress. Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to eat asparagus?