Crabmeat and spinach lasagna
Fresh pasta made from the eggs of our own chickens is a pleasure anytime. Add sweet fresh crabmeat, a creamy sauce with three cheeses and the bitter note and vibrant colour of the spinach and you have one superb meal. It's taken some time to get this right and it's fairly long winded, but it will last us for days. I just can't wait to start eating it!
You can make this in stages and just assemble it when you are ready to bake it.
- Olive oil for frying
- 400 g fresh pasta rolled out into sheets (200g flour, 2 eggs, 4 yolks)
- 280 g premium claw Crabmeat
- 4 large anchovy fillets and maybe a drop or two of the oil they are packed in
- 1 225 g bag washed baby spinach leaves
- 1 red bell pepper; roasted, peeled and chopped into slivers
- 1 green bell pepper; roasted, peeled and chopped into slivers
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 stalk of celery, sliced into `moons'
- 1 250 g tub ricotta cheese
- 1 125 g ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
- 4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
For the bechamel sauce
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 500 ml (18 fl oz) milk
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 225 ml milk for the final stage
- 1 free range egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F - gas 4)
- Pick through the crabmeat to remove any pieces of shell
- Finely chop the anchovies and mix well into the crab meat with a little of the oil they are packed in. Set the crab/anchovy mixture aside.
- In a little olive oil, gently fry the onions, garlic, celery slices and roasted pepper strips for about 5 minutes.
- Tip the crabmeat from step 3 into the onion mixture, mix well, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Follow the instructions here to make the bechamel sauce using 500 ml of milk
- Once it has thickened, season with salt and pepper and whisk in the ricotta cheese. If 'assembling' later, leave the next stage until you're ready to put the dish together.
- Whisk the egg into the 225 ml of milk, heat the bechamel sauce and whisk in the milk/egg mixture. Heat and stir until it thickens.
- Make yourself (or unwrap if shop bought) the pasta!
- Grease a suitable oven-proof dish and build up the lasagne, starting with a layer of spinach, pasta sheets, crab mixture, bechamel sauce, a little mozzarella cheese, spinach, pasta and so on. End with a final layer of pasta, topped with bechamel sauce, mozzarella cheese and a dusting of Parmesan cheese
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes
Serve hot or cold with a green salad.