Seafood (prawns, fish and crab) and meat lasagne recipes with ricotta in the white sauce layer. These are the result of many years experimenting with lasagnes. Lasagne is a great way to serve a bunch of people (these both serve 12), because all of the prep and cooking can be done in advance and if you clean up as you go all you have left to clean up after dinner is the baking tray and the salad bowl. Makes fuss free entertaining, but it does take a long time to get it all together and it does use a lot of ingredients and dishes and pans and knives and boards and the food processor.It is quite a production for me. I don’t make them often enough to have it down to no fuss cooking.
I vacuum pack any leftovers and freeze for instant meals.
I have not found lasagne to be a cheap meal if home cooked, but that is mainly because I only use good quality ingredients, however, it is still a lot cheaper than paying for a restaurant meal for 12. The 250g of parmesan in the seafood lasagne cost around $15, add to that the cost of the seafood and ricotta – I can’t imagine what must go into a premade lasagne that sells for around $12 to $15. No wonder they are not that good.
What I have learnt
I have spent many hours trying to make a lasagne that I thought was worth the effort that I put into making them. When I discovered ricotta based lasagnes it all made sense to me. The white layer was firmer and the whole thing was healthier and it was much easier to make. Basically it takes a tasty meat/seafood/vegetable mixture that is not too runny and some ricotta mixed with egg and a tasty cheese all between layers of lasagne noodles. If you get that idea sorted then the whole thing becomes more flexible, being able to use what is in the fridge/freezer/cupboard
Seafood Lasagne (prawn, fish and crab) – made with lasagne noodles
–Serves 12 people–
- 400g prawns, raw peeled (if frozen thaw, rinse and dry)
- 300g firm type fish pieces
- 400g salmon off cuts
- 2 tins crab meat – drained or lobster pieces
- 2 spring onions thinly sliced diagonally
- Juice and zest from one lemon
White sauce and ricotta mix
- 6 tbs butter
- 2 large cloves garlic – minced
- 6 tbs flour
- 4 cups milk
- 250g parmesan style cheese, grated and divided up ½ cup for white sauce, ½ cup for ricotta mix, ½ cup for the seafood layer, remainder for topping
- 1 large red capsicum cut into 2cm squares for top ricotta layer
- 500g ricotta
- 1 egg
- 250g grated Cheddar cheese (all in the ricotta mix)
- Enough lasagne noodles to make four layers in the selected baking pan (approx. 35 x 25). Work out how many noodles to be used by laying out in the pan. I used 2 ½ per layer.
Prepare the seafood layer:
Cook prawns & fish in small batches in oil, season with salt and pepper, set aside in a bowl, add crab meat, spring onion, squeeze of lemon or lime. Some pre packed lobster would also be a good addition.
Make the white sauce:
Cook garlic gently in butter until soft but not brown, add the flour off the heat and stir till smooth. Return to heat and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat again and add the milk slowly while stirring to ensure that it is lump free. Cook until thick. Add 1/2 cup parmesan and salt and pepper and set aside.
Will be used 1 cup on the base, 1 cup in the ricotta mix, ½ cup over each ricotta layer (total of 1 cup), ½ cup on seafood layer, remainder on top layer
Make the ricotta filling:
Mix 1/2 cup parmesan, ricotta, egg, cheddar cheese, and 1 cup white sauce in a bowl until combined. Season to taste.
Roast capsicum slowly in frypan until softened.
Divide ricotta into 2 portions and stir capsicum into one portion (the top ricotta layer).
Assemble and cook:
- If using dried noodles follow directions on lasagne noodle packet or soak noodles for 15 minutes in warm water, drain. If using home made noodles then you already know what to do.
- Spread 1 cup of white sauce in the bottom of the pan, cover with lasagne noodles
- Spread with first portion of the ricotta mixture, top with 1/2 cup white sauce, cover with noodles
- Spread evenly with the seafood. Sprinkle with the spring onions, ½ cup of the parmesan and top with ½ cup white sauce. Cover with lasgne noodles.
- Spread with capsicum portion of the ricotta mixture, top with 1/2 cup white sauce, cover with noodles
- Add the remaining white sauce, and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes at 180ºC. Remove the foil increase the heat to 200ºC and continue to cook until browned (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving. It is cooked when golden and bubbly.
Serve with a salad that is a bit crispy and vinegary to counter the greasiness of the lasagne. I made a salad similar to the Carrot and Cucumber Pickle Salad in this blog . I simply ran a cucumber, half a capsicum, a carrot and half a red onion and some coriander through a mezzalluma to get straws and dressed it with palm sugar, spiced vinegar, finely sliced chilli, fish sauce and lemon juice. Made a bit ahead of time and tossed a few times to get the flavour through the vegetables, it was perfect.
Seafood Lasagne made with rice (prawn, fish and crab)
I was looking for a way to serve this wheat free when I remembered eating a lasagne style dish in Italy that had layers of rice instead of the lasagne noodles. So I simply used the recipe above and substituted a thin layer of rice for the noodles. It was delicious and easy – the cooked rice was left in the rice cooker and scooped on to each layer while it was warm, pressing down evenly. I left the whole thing to rest for about an hour before cooking. I don’t know if this made any difference but the flavours were well blended and the slices stayed together.
I cooked 5 cups of uncooked rice to complete this recipe.