Seafood Freeform Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce

seafood lasagna

If you’re looking for a special date night dinner, something a little fancy but not so hard to make try this seafood freeform lasagna, what makes it even more special is the subtle lemon cream sauce that’s spooned all over.

This is the perfect dinner to have on Valentines Day which is coming up soon and I’m quite sure many of us will be dining at home. This is meant for two people but you can certainly double the recipe for more to enjoy if need be.

I used a mix of scallops and shrimp in this easy freeform lasagna, which is highlighted with a touch of Limoncello for a smack of bright lemon flavor!

chopped shrimp and scallops

The prep work is all done in advance so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is pop your dish into the oven, warm it up and get that golden top.

You’ll be spending all your time with your date instead of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all night, and that’s a good thing!

filling ramekins

The lemon sauce is very light, you can use half lemon juice and half Limoncello or just all lemon juice. I wouldn’t do all Limoncello because that would  be too sweet tasting and overpower the seafood.

If lemon is not your thing, you can make a nice white sauce to top it off like a béchamel, that would be equally as delicious and creamy to top it off.

Cut your lasagna noodles to fit into individual ramekins if using or if you end up using a bigger dish,  it doesn’t have to fit perfect.

seafood filled ramekins

Then you’re going to layer all that amazing seafood on top. It’s a delicious mix of chopped scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots with a little ricotta and mascarpone for creaminess and to help bind it all.

shrimp and scallop lasagna

Save some whole shrimp for garnish it makes a striking presentation. This can be served along side a beautiful salad or if you really want to go all out, a steak for some surf and turf!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Seafood Freeform Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce
 
A date night or Valentines Day dinner for you and your special someone.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. seafood, I used a combo of ½ lb. shrimp and ½ lb. scallops, you can also use all shrimp or any combo of your choice, peeled and deveined leaving a couple of whole shrimp or scallops for garnish
  • 6 lasagna sheets, pre-boiled
  • SEAFOOD MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, small dice
  • 2 large garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped parsley, extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mascarpone cream
  • 1 tablespoon, limoncello in the seafood mix or use 1 tablespoon, lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE LEMON CREAM SAUCE
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and extra to butter your ramekins
  • 2 Tablespoons, Limoncello ( or use all lemon juice to make up the 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Pre boil your lasagne noodles, according to the time directions on the box, cool them down and set aside.
  2. Chop up your seafood into bite size pieces, making sure to clean your shrimp beforehand, and setting aside 1 or 2 for garnish.
  3. For the whole shrimp garnish, season them and stick into a 420F oven until cooked through, then set aside.
  4. Butter 2 -6 inch" ramekins or 1- 12 inch"
  5. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a sauté pan, add the shallot and garlic til soft then toss in the chopped seafood, tossing gently till cooked. Don't over cook!
  6. Add 1 Tablespoon of Limoncello to the mix or lemon juice as well as the parsley.
  7. Let the mixture cool down then add the ricotta and mascarpone, folding it in and mixing it til incorporated.
  8. Make your lemon cream sauce by placing both Limoncello, ( 2 tablespoons) and lemon juice( 2 tablespoons) in a small sauce pan together ( or use all lemon juice( 4 tablespoons).
  9. Once warm whisk in your butter.
  10. When the butter melts in add the heavy cream gently stirring on low heat until the cream thickens.
  11. NOW FOR ASSEMBLY
  12. Line the bottom of your ramekins with a few cooked lasagna noodles, cutting them if need be to fit.
  13. Spread a little of the lemon cream sauce on the noodles.
  14. Divide your seafood mix between the two ramekins and spread on top of the pasta.
  15. Use the remaining lasagna noodles to fit over the top of the seafood mixture.
  16. Spoon some of the lemon sauce all around.
  17. This all can be prepped ahead of time.
  18. When you’re ready to serve you can place the ramekins under your broiler to warm it up and get some golden color on top, but if you do you can't walk away!
  19. Stay near the oven broiler and keep checking to make sure it doesn’t burn,.
  20. You can also heat them in the oven at 375 just til heated through, ovens vary so keep checking, it won't take too long, and remember everything is cooked already.
  21. If you want a little more golden on top, stick it under the broiler for that, but again do not walk away!
  22. Spoon some of the lemon cream on top to finish, garnish with chopped parsley and top it off with the whole cooked shrimp.
  23. Enjoy!

 

 

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Chicken Parm Meatballs, A Twist On The Classic

meatballs

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? They’re a favorite of many with endless ways to make them! This version is everything you love about classic chicken parm but formed into a meatball.

The outside is crispy, similar to the way you would fry up your chicken cutlet. They’re topped with a nice marinara sauce, some melted cheese, basil with a surprise center.

When you bite into them they still hold on to that crunch because they’re not simmered in sauce as you would traditional Italian meatballs.

 

frying meatballs

After the balls are formed you’re going to bread them as you would when making chicken cutlets, first a light dusting of flour, then egg, then into breadcrumbs. You’ll brown them first until that crispy coating sets, then they’re finished off in the oven.

meatball parmesan

Depending on the size you make you can serve them as a main with a nice green vegetable or salad on the side, place them on top of pasta or you might simply want to stuff them into a crunchy baguette for a delicious sandwich.

sauced meatballs

Your family will love the fact that you turned the classic chicken parm into a meatball, how can they resist! Crispy on the outside with melted mozzarella oozing on the inside, every bite is amazing!

 

stuffed meatball

I hope you make this fun spin on the classic chicken parm!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chicken Parm Meatballs, A Twist On The Classic
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE MEATBALL MIXTURE
  • 2 lbs. ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ medium onion, small dice
  • 2 heaping tablespoons each, parsley and basil
  • ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE BREADING MIX
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • flour for dredging
  • panko breadcrumbs enough to coat your meatballs
  • *****
  • ½ lb. of dry mozzarella in a block so you can cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ lb. of fresh mozzarella, just so you can top each cooked meatball, you'll probably have some leftover
  • marinara sauce, enough for a dollop on each meatball and some warmed up to serve on your plate.
  • additional basil for garnish as well as extra marinara
  • Note: you do not simmer these meatballs in a pot of sauce like traditional ones, you want to keep them crispy
Instructions
  1. Mix up the meatballs with ingredients listed.
  2. Form them into size the meatballs you like then push the cubed mozzarella into each one, making sure the meat covers the cheese.
  3. I got 10 meatballs with the 2lbs.
  4. Have your breading station set up with the flour, egg and panko.
  5. Lightly dredge each meatball into the flour dusting off excess, then into the egg, then finally the panko, making sure to coat the whole meatball all around.
  6. In a nonstick heated fry pan drizzle in some olive oil, fry the meatballs making sure to get all sides golden and crispy.
  7. Transfer them to a casserole dish and into a 400 degree oven for around 10 minutes, then pull them out, top with a dollop of marinara on each as well as a piece of the fresh mozzarella, then back into the oven for an additional 5 or so minutes so they can finish cooking on the inside and the cheese melts on top.
  8. Garnish with chopped basil.
  9. Serve with some warm marinara on the side.

 

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Cannellini Beans from Scratch is Well Worth The Effort

stewed beans

Making beans from scratch might take you a little longer but there is absolutely no comparison to the taste, texture and flavor that results. If you’re like most people you have a pantry stocked with canned beans, I do myself, it often allows you to pull together a quick meal during the week, but when you want to slow it down and create an epic meal, dried beans is where it’s at!

The cannellini beans above were slow simmered, infused with aromatics then stewed together with a garlic, tomato and sage sauce. This is a meal in itself, it’s rustic with so much flavor and perfect texture, and the star of this dish are the beans that were made from scratch with some of the dreamy broth it produces as a bonus!

soaking beans

Make it easy on yourself, soak the beans overnight, all you have to do is give them a good rinse, fill a pot with cold water with enough to cover them, pop a lid on and go to bed.

There is a quick soak method out there where you boil the beans for a couple of minutes first, then remove them from the heat, cover and let them sit for an hour. then cook. I’ve tried that method, it didn’t go so well for me, but I much prefer the end result from soaking them overnight.

overnight beans

When you wake up you’ll see how much they puffed up, then you’ll want to drain them and give them a good rinse.

drained beanssimmered beans

Then the fun begins, place the rinsed beans into the pot with fresh water that covers them again. You’ll want to infuse those beans with aromatics, I used a half a bulb of garlic, a handful of fresh sage and my favorite ingredient, a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind.

Let’s talk about the cheese rind for a second, you need to have this ingredient for this recipe! You might have your own stash of rinds tucked away in your freezer from cheese you’ve used, if not you can ask your cheesemonger if they would sell you some. I can easily get them from my local Whole Foods, they sell 3 or 4 in a bundle and I’m always impressed how much of a chunk of the cheese they leave on each rind, and that’s what you want, a rind that has some of the cheese still attached.

cooked beans finished

Bring those beans to a boil then reduce the heat to a slow simmer with a lid on top. Mine took almost 2 hours for a pound of cannellini beans but the best way to test them is to taste after about an hour, if they’re still tough continue cooking. Make sure not to rush them or overcook them, you don’t want mushy beans, they should be slightly Al dente.

cannellini beans cooked

The end result should have a slight bite with a soft creamy center.

Now it’s time to remove the cheese rind, sage and just the peels of the garlic because all the cloves will have fallen inside and melted in and produced the most dreamy tasting broth!

cooked beans

This bean dish was such a hit, I can’t imagine it being made with canned beans, it just wouldn’t be the same. The aromatics along with the cheese rind infuses the beans with so much flavor!

toast and beans

Eat them as a side dish or my favorite way is to scatter them on top of toasted crusty bread, each bite is out of this world good!

jarred beans

The other benefit of making beans from scratch is that you’ll probably have some left over, I got around 6 cups of cooked beans from a little over a pound of dried beans. You can tuck them away in your freezer and use them later in a multitude of other dishes, or if you’re like me you’ll make this rustic stewed tomato and bean dish again and again!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Cannellini Beans from Scratch
 
The bean preparation was my own but the actual stewed bean and tomato dish was adapted from the blog "How To Feed A Loon" I tweaked some amounts and additions.
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BEANS
  • 1 lb. bag of dried cannellini beans
  • a small handful of sage
  • ½ whole garlic bulb
  • 1 Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind with some cheese still attached
  • FOR THE STEWED BEANS WITH TOMATOES, GARLIC AND SAGE
  • 4 heaping cups of the cooked dried beans
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup of the bean broth
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 28 oz.of whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained of all liquid and crushed by hand
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil drizzle
Instructions
  1. Soak the beans overnight.
  2. Drain the beans in the morning then refill the pot with cold water covering the beans.
  3. Infuse the water with your aromatics of sage, garlic and 1 cheese rind.
  4. Bring the beans to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer.
  5. Times vary but you’re looking for a creamy soft inside with a slight bite on the outside. ( mine took almost 2 hours, so keep checking).
  6. When beans are done remove the aromatics, they did their job and keep all that luscious broth as well it's liquid gold!
  7. FOR THE STEWED BEAN DISH
  8. In a large skillet add the olive oil, then add the garlic and chopped sage, cook til golden.
  9. Add the wine and let it evaporate.
  10. Scoop in the beans, along with the flavored broth.
  11. Squeeze in the drained tomatoes.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Toss in 3 whole sage leaves and let it simmer until the sauce thickens up a bit and reduces, you don't want a soupy consistency.
  14. When finished drizzle with olive oil.
  15. Serve as a side or on toasty bread.
  16. If you have extra beans you can freeze them or use for another dish, or make this again!

 

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