Dungeness Crab and Pine Nut Lasagne
Homemade pasta and a rich bechamel sauce, are uplifted by the light, sweet crab in this warming dish.
Yield: serves 8-12
For the Pasta
- 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. butter
For the Béchamel and the Filling
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 tbsp. butter
- 1⁄4 cup sifted flour
- 4 cups milk, hot
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 9-12 oz. dungeness crab meat
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated pecorino-romano
- 1⁄2 lb. button mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 cup ricotta
- 3⁄4 cup pine nuts
- For the béchamel: Preheat oven to 375°. Put garlic and oil in center of a medium piece of foil, fold foil into a packet, then roast in oven until garlic is soft, about 45 minutes. Mash garlic to a paste and set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 1⁄2 minutes. Whisk in hot milk and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is as thick as heavy cream, 30–35 minutes. Add garlic paste, lemon zest, and salt to taste. Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
- For the pasta: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour. Break egg into well and add 1 tbsp. water. Using a fork, beat egg and water together, then continue beating while gradually incorporating flour. Continue beating in flour until dough is stiff. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead until silky-smooth, 8–10 minutes. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let rest for 20–30 minutes.
- Working with 1 rectangle at a time, feed wide side of pasta through smooth cylinders of a hand-crank pasta machine set on widest setting. Decrease setting by 1 notch and feed narrow end of pasta through cylinders again. Repeat, decreasing setting by 1 notch each time. On final setting, dough will come out in a long, thin sheet.
- Cut pasta into 7" lengths and cover with clean damp dish towels. Cook pasta, several sheets at a time, in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 2–2 1⁄2 minutes; dip briefly into a large bowl of ice water. Lay sheets out on damp towels and cover with more damp towels.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with butter. Line bottom of dish with a layer of pasta, trimming sheets so that they fit in 1 even layer (patch if necessary) Scatter crab over pasta, spread 1⁄3 of the béchamel on top, then sprinkle with half the grated cheeses. Cover with another layer of pasta, scatter mushrooms on top, add dollops of ricotta, and spread half the remaining béchamel on top. Cover with another layer of pasta, spread the remaining béchamel on top, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheeses, and scatter pine nuts on top. Bake until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.