Seafood Lasagna with Roasted Fennel Tomato Sauce – a deconstructed version that can be easily plated just before serving for a very impressive presentation. The subtle flavour of the roasted fennel tomato sauce pairs perfectly with the succulent seafood.
I’ve tried quite a few seafood lasagnas in restaurants over the years but it is difficult to find one where the seafood is not overcooked because of the cooking method. Some others have had quite heavy sauces with far too much garlic or herbs which overpower the delicate taste of the seafood.
When adding herbs, I usually do it at the last minute so as not to over-saturate the flavor of the sauce. Truthfully, the mellow anise-like flavor of the roasted fennel is enough in this sauce and you can leave out the herbs if you like.
In this recipe the sweet, rich flavor and perfectly cooked texture of the seafood is what is important. Get all the individual elements right and this is simply the perfect seafood lasagna, ideal for special occasions or whenever you want to impress.
If you’d like to make your own pasta for this dish, you can find my instructions in this Chicken Parmesan Lasagna recipe.
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- 1 to 2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes diced
- 1/2 large fennel bulb diced
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp crushed chillies optional
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or dill optional
- 6-8 sheets of fresh lasagna cooked. This really depends on the size of the sheets package, how you cut them, and the number of people you are serving. Allow 4 serving size sheets for each portion. I use about 3x4 inch pieces of lasagna.
- 1 pound cooked lobster sliced or chunked
- 1 pound large scallops
- 1 pound shelled de-veined shrimp
- sliced part skim mozzarella cheese
Toss the tomatoes, fennel, onion, garlic olive oil, brown sugar, crushed chillies, salt and pepper together in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F. Cook for about 50 -60 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the fennel pieces are very soft and most of the liquid has cooked off and the sauce reaches a good chunky consistency.
Puree the sauce in a blender or food processor and transfer to a saucepan.
Add the tomato sauce and tarragon. Slowly simmer for an 20 minutes or so or until the sauce reaches a good consistency. Stir occasionally.
Use whatever combination of seafood that you like or is in season. Practically any seafood works in this recipe. The amounts given above are will easily yield 6 servings or more.
I steamed a 1 1/2 to 2 pound lobster for about 15 minutes, let it cool slightly, then removed the meat carefully from the shell and cut it into slices or chunks.
The scallops are lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and pan seared in a little canola oil in a hot cast iron pan for just a minute or two per side.
I sauteed the shrimp quickly for only a couple of minutes with a half clove of minced garlic and a couple of tablespoons of salted butter.
To construct the lasagna, spoon some sauce onto the individual serving plates and lay down the first layer of pasta. Add a layer of scallops, cover with sauce and add another layer of pasta. Next add a layer of shrimp, more sauce and another layer of pasta. Finally add the lobster, a layer of pasta, more sauce and the final layer of pasta.
Spoon a little more sauce over the lasagna and top with a 1/4 inch thick slice or two of fresh mozzarella. Add the sliced cheese on top and melt under the broiler for just a minute or so and serve.