Lasagne aperta with shrimp

February 1, 2011  •  Category:


I discovered the concept of making lasagna aperta through Enrico Masia, an Italian chef. Great idea!  Lighter than the classic lasagne bolognese that would entail  three days of laborious effort to produce.

I made pasta using a bit of greens for color, rolled the pasta with a pin and let it air dry for three days on a sparse blanket of cornmeal. (I could have used it that day but had other plans).

The sauce is made with shrimp, shrimp stock, onions and tomatoes, garlic (of course), fresh ginger, cream, and some saffron for flavor. Chef Masia used asparagus and white noodles. I preferred brussel sprouts since I hardly eat those little things and I quite like them.  Oh, and I added some orange rind to the sauce and some Aleppo pepper to give it a touch of heat.

Fun to make, perfect make-ahead meal for a party, I am going to be making lasagne aperta from now on!

P.S: aperta means open in Italian. (I am guessing since in French it is ouverte, and in Spanish abierta)

First step: Make the pasta


  • 8 ounces or 250 g. of all-purpose flour (if you have Flour 00, great!)
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1 ounce of steamed greens (I used arugula)


  1. Can use a food processor or your fingers; place the steamed greens in the bowl of the processor (make sure they are well drained and quite dry first); chop in the processor with the eggs for one minute or so.
  2. Add the flour and process until the dough holds together. Remove, knead briefly on the counter and let it rest for 30 minutes covered with a damp towel.
  3. If using a pasta machine, cut small pieces of dough and run through the machine; if using a rolling pin, roll out as thin as possible. Cut the pasta and lay on the counter. When finished with all the pasta, take each wide ribbon of pasta and roll out some more until the pasta is as thin a paper.
  4. Place the rolled out pieces of pasta on a cookie sheet on which you have sprinkled some cornmeal or semolina or flour. Let them air dry if not using right away, for several days. Store in a box if not using for a week or longer.

Second step: Making the sauce.


  • 1 pound of pasta or boxed lasagne noodles
  • 1 pound of large pink shrimps
  • 1 cup of whipping (light) cream
  • 2 cups of shrimp stock (or 1 cup of stock and 1 cup of white wine)
  • 10 cloves of garlic (1 tablespoon of mashed garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron shreds
  • 3 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • salt, pepper, Aleppo red pepper (for heat, optional), grated rind of an orange or a lime or lemon
  • 1 bag of frozen brussel sprouts (12 ounces) (can replace with asparagus or zucchini)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Chopped parsley or basil for garnish


  1. Make the shrimp stock: Peel the shrimp, cut off the heads. Cut the shrimp in half lengthwise and get rid of the intestinal tube.
  2. Place the shrimp heads and skins in a saucepan, cover with tap water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, strain the stock and let it reduce to about 2 cups.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, add the onions and fry till golden. Add the shrimps and fry till they turn pink. Remove the shrimps and set aside and fry the brussel sprouts till softened and golden, add the garlic, ginger and spices (less the saffron). Add a splash of white wine (if using), pour the cream and let it reduce a bit by simmering for 15 minutes. Place the saffron in the cream and let it infuse the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place the shrimps back in the sauce and keep in the skillet till serving time. (Chef Masia added some fresh basil to the sauce).


  • Heat 2 quarts of salted water in a large pot. Add the pasta in two batches and boil for two minutes (or less) until al dente (the cooking time will depend on whether the pasta is still moist and fresh or dried).
  • Drain the pasta and place in a serving dish. Add the sauce with the shrimp, garnish with some fresh parsley or basil and serve.


46 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Banana Wonder says:

    I am so impressed. First of all, arugula homemade pasta?! Saffron and shrimp? And B sprouts. Too good to be true!

  2. Rosa says:

    What a scrumptious combination! That dish is wonderful.



  3. Cherine says:

    This look absolutely yummy!

  4. Caffettiera says:

    yep, aperta is open. Really beautiful dish! I like a lot the pasta, usually when I add greens I blend them and the pasta turns out uniform in colour, while the speckled effect is really cool.

  5. Chiara says:

    Lovely idea Joumana! I like this “lasagna aperta”…a hug..

  6. Magdalena says:

    I love this recipe and I will definitely try (although I do not like brussel sprouts too much, so I will replace them by other greens). Kind regards!

  7. Jimmy says:

    Mi piace molto questa Lasagna aperta ! sei davvero geniale Joumana 😉
    Tanti baci da un libanese a Nizza

  8. Adele says:

    Sounds like a great idea. Our local deli sells fabulous homemade fresh pasta, and I always give the lasagne sheets a miss because it’s a lot of work to do a good one. This is a good alternative, thanks Joumama!

  9. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a sensational dinner. It looks much more lovely and light than a traditional lasagne.
    *kisses* HH

  10. Carol says:

    Definitely worth the prep it took, it looks deliciously fantastic! I’d love it with the Brussels sprouts, too!

  11. deana says:

    Those colors are just stupendous together. How I love arugula and make a pesto with it… but have never tried a noodle with it! Amazing flavors… creamy ginger sounds divine. I do enjoy making pasta and now have it down to a science… and it is so worth it. Great recipe, Joumana!

  12. T.W Barritt says:

    While I love traditional lasagna, this is absolutely gorgeous. Love the colors and the flavors, and the fact that you made your own lasagna noodles and added a touch of green. Stunning!

  13. nammi says:

    oooooooooooh that looks so much easier and i love that bright colour of the shrimps although never had seafood lasagne.

  14. Joanne says:

    Haha, yes aperta does mean open 😛

    I’ve never heard of lasagna like this though…but it sounds fantastic! i love your filling!

  15. Anita says:

    A beautiful dish,love love the idea of “aperta”. And you’re right it’s much easier and prettier than stacking it. Yummmm!!

  16. Devaki says:

    Oh my goodness! This is marvelous and what a labor of love. I am so impressed with the effort and the mastery you have shown in this dish Joumana. I don’t think I have the courage to make homemade pasta – yet.

    You are a marvel – so keep it coming 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  17. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    Joumana, is your family aware that they are living with a 4-star chef? Lucky diners, indeed!

  18. Doc says:

    Wow-I love that shrimp lasagne recipe. I especially love the lightness of the dish. If we get the show on air am I going to be able to get you as a guest chef?!

  19. SYLVIA says:

    This is a luxurious Italian-inspired lasagna. Although I am a little intimidated making homemade pasta dough, it is also a little time- consuming but I guess it’s worth the effort.
    Joumana, this is a 5 star dish, and company- worthy elegant lasagna. It will be one popular dish with its layer of cream, saffron and shrimp, everyone is sure to request again. Don’t count on leftovers.

  20. weirdcombos says:

    Lasagna with grated ginger? Very interesting concept, how can one go wrong with ginger? I don’t see a lot of it in Italian cooking though. This dish gets an East meets West approach with ginger and saffron added to it. I bet it turned out delicious!

  21. Nadji says:

    La pâte à elle seule avec cette couleur verte est de 1ère beauté.
    J’imagine les saveurs pour ce qui est du reste.
    A très bientôt.

  22. Barbara says:

    Nice homemade pasta, Joumana. I still haven’t made it myself. This is an elegant dish and I am also a brussel sprout lover. Good move to use them in place of asparagus.
    Gorgeous photos too!

  23. Mely(mexicokitchen) says:

    Love the concept of lasagna aperta. It is something new to me but I will use the idea. I like the pasta making photos.

    Thanks for sharing.

  24. Julie says:

    Ces lasagnes sont tellement appétissantes ! Avec la pâte parfumée à la roquette d’une part, et la sauce aux crevettes d’autre part, ça en fait un plat complet très savoureux… Très bonne idée !

  25. A Canadian Foodie says:

    That is gorgeous looking pasta – and you make it look so effortless! I have never made my own pasta! Hard to believe, isn’t it!
    I don’t understand my fear. My desire is really strong. I need a mentor my first time!

  26. Claudia says:

    What a beauty! The flavors, the colors – just stunning. I am awed. And hungry.

  27. tigerfish says:

    Looks beautiful with the greens and golden of shrimps:) I bet it taste delicious.

  28. Eva says:

    That looks wonderful! I have never tried making my own pasta from scratch before, but I think this recipe just inspired me to give it a whirl. I love the combination of saffron, hot pepper, and ginger, it sounds delicious 🙂

  29. lisa says:

    That is one colorful and beautiful dish! I love it, it’s so impressive. Your pasta is gorgeous!

  30. Ivy says:

    Yes, aparta does mean open. It never ever passed my mind to make my own lasagna but why not? I have also never made a seafood lasagna before. Now this is a recipe I would definitely want to try. Hey, congrats for the proposal to cook on a T.V. show!

  31. JourneyKitchen says:

    What a great and unique recipe this is. Love the ingredients!

  32. Louise says:

    I’ve made lasagna like this for years. I never knew it actually had a name. How cool is that. Of course, I usually resorted to cooking it in this manner for one reason or another. I can tell you this, Joumana, I don’t recall mine ever looking or “blending” so beautifully.

    Thanks for sharing…

  33. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A gorgeous lasagna dish! I love that you used the arugula in the pasta dough, and the sauce sounds so flavorful, a terrific dish for sure!

  34. Faith says:

    Stunning pasta dish! The greens you added really make it a masterpiece. Love that seafood sauce too!

  35. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    What a great concept. And you made your pasta? And the flavor combos! Wow I LOVE it.

  36. peter says:

    This is superior simply because you made your own pasta…little needed by way of finesse other that choosing good ingredients. The deconstructed lasagna still looks very composed!

  37. Dana says:

    That’s just gorgeous! I bet the arugula made the lasagna noodles really interesting.

  38. Meeta says:

    How perfectly delicious! Of course I am loving the 10 cloves of garlic in this! ;o)

  39. Jamie says:

    Wow! I love shrimp but the flavors in that creamy sauce are out of this world! Gorgeous, gorgeous, dish!

  40. Magic of Spice says:

    What a beautiful and delicious way to prepare a lasagna…lovely flavors 🙂

  41. Lebanon Hotels says:

    Thats what i call pasta, there are few good italian restaurants in beirut and wish the all get italian chefs

  42. Mely(mexicokitchen) says:

    I just want to let you know that I tried the pasta, with another topping. I loved the concept and made it two days ago. I used half for the Lasagna aperta and half to make linguini. I used spinach instead arugula.

    This recipe is a keeper.


    PS. You can used the rice flour to make the atole, and kids love it. I have a taster at home that approves it. 🙂

  43. Food Jihadist says:

    Such unimaginably complex flavors: saffron, greens in the pasta, orange rind, Aleppo pepper. This is a dish of the fine dining Middle Eastern restaurant that needs to be more common. Thank you for elevating and innovating.

  44. Sharon@ Fun and Life says:

    I have a bad habit of hunting through older posts and I’m glad I did! This lasagne looks so delicious! I was wondering what ‘aperta’ meant throughout your whole post then found it at the end haha. Would definitely love to try this. I love lasagne but never have much because it’s always too rich and thick and cheesy. This looks like a much lighter version and also real delicious! Must try this one day 😀

  45. domi says:

    Bonjour Joumana, ce plat est surprenant par son goût et ses couleurs, une création pleine de charme. Bisous et passe un bon dimanche

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