Friday, July 20, 2012

Seafood Lasagna

It’s a keeper!” That’s what we yell when we fish: “Keeper!” Well, this recipe is definitely a keeper. As with any lasagna, the necessary cheese is not cheap, but the cost of the seafood in this recipe is not exorbitant. I used about a pound of chunk-style imitation crab, as well as a couple of small salmon fillets because they were in my freezer. Use any type of raw, shelled seafood you like, in this recipe. Having said that, don’t use real crab. Its delicate flavor would be lost amidst the strong basil-tomato and cheese flavors. You may certainly use canned fish, but I greatly prefer fresh or frozen.
To speed the process, I used a bottled, seasoned tomato sauce - I have to admit, it was excellent - instead of making the from-scratch slow-simmered lasagna sauce I usually do (see Index for Main Dish: Lasagna/My All-Time Favorite) posted June 6, 2012. The recipe below makes a large, family-size lasagna - so delicious that it’s suitable for a family dinner or for entertaining. Naturally, you’ll cut down the cost if you cut down the size. 
Seafood Lasagna:
1 lb. (454 g) artificial crab (or any sturdy white fish such as cod, pollock, haddock, etc.)
7 oz. (200 g) salmon fillets (or snapper or other firm-fleshed fish of your choice)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
¼ large, green bell pepper (also called a capsicum sweet pepper), diced
1 medium onion, chopped
One 5-½ oz. (156 mL) can tomato paste
One 25 oz. (739 mL) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. pepper
6 lasagna noodles, cooked as package directs (see Note)
12 oz. (340 g) Mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated (see Further Note)
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Partially thaw seafood, cutting into 1-in. pieces. Melt butter on medium heat in large skillet, stirring in green pepper and onion until onion is translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring in tomato paste, pasta sauce, and seasonings. Simmer 5 min. Add seafood, simmering a further 5 min. Criss-cross a layer of half the noodles into a 9x13-in. greased casserole, topping with half the seafood mixture and half the mozzarella. Repeat layers, topping with Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 25-to-30 min., until bubbly and golden brown. Serves 6-to-8.
Note: Lasagna noodles freeze well. I cooked too many when I made my beef Lasagna last month, so froze them flat in a zippered plastic bag. I heated the bag in a bowl of hot water to thaw them.
Further Note: I feel the flavor of fresh Parmesan is superior to the prepackaged, powdered, shake-on kind you buy in the supermarket.

Stir-fry onion and green pepper in butter

Add a jar of tomato-basil sauce - any quality brand will do

Add tomato paste and seasonings, combining well. Simmer 5 min.

Add seafood, simmering further 5 min.

Place criss-crossed layer of lasagna noodles in greased casserole

Add half seafood mixture

And half mozzarella

Repeat layering, top with Parmesan, and bake

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