Artichoke Lasagne with prawns and buffalo mozzarella

In full accordance to the rules of web 2.0, through my Facebook Page, I asked Nero di Seppia fans what they would have liked to find within the next recipes. After several suggestions, pistachio and artichokes were the two ingredients competing for the podium.  Following a tough challenge, the final “like” was given to the winner. Despite its spiny appearance, its soft heart couldn’t hide the emotion for the great victory. And here’s to you, the Champion.

Ingredients for 4 persons (1 small baking tin)
– fresh egg lasagne, 250g
– artichokes, 250g already cleaned and cut + 10 stalks
– garlic, 1 clove
– prawns, 250g
– buffalo mozzarella, 150g
– ricotta, 1 tbsp
– béchamel sauce, ½ litre
– lemon, 1
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt & pepper

Clean the artichokes, slice them thinly, Mondate i carciofi, affettateli finemente, scrape off the stalks and cover everything with water and lemon juice. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a pan with the unpeeled garlic clove, crushed.  Towel-dry the artichoke stalks, cut them into pieces and, as soon as the garlic starts turning golden, let them brown in the pan for a few minutes. Add 60ml of warm water, switch to a low flame, cover and stew for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste, ground pepper and blend together with 50 ml of warm water, the ricotta and some olive oil, until you get a creamy and even texture. Adjust salt and keep aside.
Drain the other artichokes and sauté them in the same pan used for the stalks, removing the garlic. Add 60ml of warm water, cover and stew for 10 minutes. Add salt, ground pepper and keep aside.
Clean the prawns, cut them into pieces and store in the fridge. Cut the mozzarella into pieces and put it in a colander so as to let it lose the liquids.  
Prepare a light béchamel sauce, keeping it quite liquid, not too thick.
Grease the baking tin with some olive oil by using a brush. Make a first layer of lasagne, without precooking (we’re using the fresh ones, in case you only find dry lasagne you should cook them in salted boiling water first). Cover with 2 or 3 tablespoons of artichoke cream, sprinkle with sliced artichokes, prawns and mozzarella. Finish with 2 or 3 tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Repeat this process, damping the lasagne with a little warm water, using a brush. Continue with the layers until you reach the top of the tin, making sure you finish with a layer of lasagne. Damp with water and add a thin layer of béchamel sauce to cover the whole surface.
Bake in preheated oven at 180° for about 25 minutes. Finish the cooking under the grill for 5 minutes, or until the top will result golden, au gratin.

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