Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Dungeness Crab and Pine Nut Lasagna

Thanksgiving weekend I made Dungeness Crab Ravioli in a white wine cream sauce for my Uncle Steve, but I was left with extra filling that I didn't want to see go to waste.

I found this interesting lasagna dish on Google and come to find out, it's a recipe from the heart of Oregon wine country and a place called Nick's Italian Cafe in McMinnville.  I'll probably take my filling and add the bechamel and pine nuts to make a variation of this lasagna.


Dungeness Crab and Pine Nut Lasagna


8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
10 tbs unsalted butter; plus one additional tsp
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups hot milk
3/4 pound fresh lasagna noodles
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
9-12 ounces of Dungeness crabmeat
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Percorino-Romano cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup pine nuts


Preheat oven to 375F.  Place garlic cloves in the center of a medium piece of tin foil, drizzle with oil, fold into a packet and roast for 45 minutes until the garlic is soft.  Once cooled, mash the garlic into a paste and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk and stir often, reducing the heat if necessary until the sauce is as thick as cream, 30-35 minutes.

About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the fresh lasagna noodles and cook until barely tender (about 3 minutes). Drain and set noodles aside.

To finish the sauce, stir in the mashed garlic, lemon zest and season with nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Remove the pan from the heat.

To assemble the lasagna, grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and lay 1/3 of the noodles in the bottom.  Top the noodles with 1/3 of the crab and then spread 1/3 of sauce on top.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of each of the cheeses.  Next add 1/3 of the mushrooms and top with small dollops of ricotta cheese.  Repeat process until all ingredients are used (you should have three layers).  Top with pine nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes so lasagna can set, the slice and serve.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, 2007, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.