No-Bake Seafood Lasagne

January 1, 2007

No-Bake Seafood Lasagne
Varietal: Sangiovese

Serves 4

This lavish entrée is special enough for company, yet saves lots of prep time compared to traditional lasagne recipes because the dish is never baked. Vary the seafood selection depending on what is in season, sustainable, and appealing to your mood. Pair the dish with Sangiovese, a traditional Italian varietal that has recently found new footing in the Pacific Northwest. It’s characterized by a pale ruby color, mild fruit aromas and flavors with a bit of earthiness, medium alcohol levels, medium to high tannin levels, and high acidity. These wines are meant to be drunk young and often!

8 uncooked plain or whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced, about 3/4 cup
1/4 pound assorted wild and/or cultivated mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, oyster, porcini, or portabello, thinly sliced
1 plum tomato, cored and diced
3/4 cup homemade or store-bought marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
2 pounds Penn Cove or Mediterranean mussels, scrubbed and debearded just before cooking
1/2 pound Alaskan halibut fillet, skin and pin bones removed and discarded, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 pound Dungeness crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional

1. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles and keep warm while preparing the rest of the dish.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are tender and the mushrooms release their juices. Stir in the tomato, marinara sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the fresh basil (or all of the dried basil). Stir well and cook 2 minutes.
3. Add the mussels to the tomato sauce and cook 3 minutes, then add the halibut and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Dungeness crab and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the mussels open and the crabmeat is heated through, removing any mussels that do not open.
4. To serve, arrange 2 lasagna noodles on each individual plate so that the noodles curl over each other and are raised in spots (do not place the lasagna noodles flat on plate). Divide the sauce and seafood over the noodles. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil. If desired, using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave strips of cheese over the pasta and seafood (although Italians consider it blasphemy to mix cheese and seafood!).

Recipe reprinted from the Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook, Gift Edition (Ten Speed Press, 2005)