Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna

Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna

There are many things in the world I choose to be snobby about but lasagna is not one. I may be picky about my scotch, my cheese plates, and my saltwater fishes. But lasagna? Naw! High brow, low brow, traditional or trendy – it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never had a lasagna I deemed “inedible”. Anything with that much cheese and pasta is hard to hate. Now, of course, I know enough to know a truly outstanding lasagna when I’m fortunate enough to eat one. But do I care if it is a classic bolognese, béchamel affair or some outlandish combination? Nope! So, with my opinions on lasagna firmly established, allow me to introduce you to my Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna. A spring-friendly lasagna seemingly filled with every “blasphemous” ingredient I could think of. Look away, lasagna purists. Look away!

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Ricotta, Pecorino, and Goat Cheese

In some ways, today’s Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna is as much a tuna casserole as it is a lasagna. This should be no great shock because it has been firmly established that I am here for all the tuna things. Remember these perfectly evil Pimento Cheese Tuna Melts or how about these Tuna Casserole Stuffed Shells. You put tuna and cheese together and I will be there. I cannot attribute this flavor fascination to any particular occurrence in my past, it’s just my natural state of being.

Tuna Goat Cheese Bechamel

When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved more than the world’s most boring tuna salad sandwich piled high with iceberg lettuce. It was utterly sharp-cheese-free and mayo-heavy. And when I say “I liked it as a kid”, I mean I have embarrassingly frequent cravings for this sandwich to this day. You thought I was classy? It took everything in me not to sprinkle crushed saltines on top of this lasagna. Everything! But enough about my humble tuna beginnings. The point is somewhere along the way, cheese cozied up with canned tuna in my brain and took root in my pleasure center. Now, I’m pretty much tuna-melt-dependent.

Fresh Pasta in the making

So, now that you know the depths of my tuna-cheese-addiction, believe me when I say I thought A LOT about which cheeses to include in this here Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna. I finally settled on goat cheese as the accent for my tuna-heavy bechamel, the classic ricotta as the base for my only traditional layer, and the punchy and lavish pecorino for my finishing cheese. I say lavish because the pecorino in question has veins of truffle running through it. Yeah, last paragraph we were discussing iceberg lettuce, now we’re in truffle territory. You could get culinary whiplash from this weird-ass blog.

Fresh Pasta Dough

The goat cheese laced bechamel is accented with fresh dill, Dijon mustard and, of course, large chunks of canned tuna. You can use any variety of canned tuna you choose. I opted for chunked, not flaked because I wanted the tuna to assert itself a little. And I choose tuna packed in water rather than oil because I wanted the fish to play nice with the consistency of the sauce. I don’t know if the oil would’ve change the sauce in any negative way, I just know I wasn’t willing to chance it. But, by all means, get down with your tuna packed in oil and tell me how it turns out.

Sweet Pea Spinach Puree Ingredients
Sweet Pea Spinach Puree

To really emphasize the spring-of-it-all I decided to create a brilliantly green layer. Naturally, I looked to spinach to bring the noise color-wise and sweet peas to reinforce it and imbibe the lasagna with their sweet flavor. For an unmissable hit of freshness, I added fresh mint to the pea spinach puree. And although I used very little, the mint was unmissable in the final dish but no obnoxious. As with floral notes, I believe mint benefits from a light touch…unless of course, you’re making mojitos. That’s a drink that does not benefit from mint-related-restraint.

Lemon Ricotta

Now, you may have noticed that I made my own pasta. You don’t have to do that. You can just buy the boxed noodles or buy a thing of fresh sheets. It is not necessary to go the extra mile unless you want to. And if you do want to, let me reassure you. Making pasta is not hard to do. It will be a bit challenging the first time around but after you work through it once, it will get steadily easier until it ‘ain’t no thang. It’s a great party trick because guests are instantly impressed when you serve them fresh pasta. And when making it becomes second nature, you’ll find yourself garnering applause for something that feels as easy as hitting snooze on your alarm clock. I might be exaggerating a little but the sentiment of this paragraph holds true.

Assembling the lasagna

Once your noodles are cooked and your fillings are all assembled, the fun part begins. If you have a soft spot for structure and organization, you’re going to love assembling a lasagna. It’s all straight lines and evenly spreading from here and personally I find it beyond gratifying. True, there’s a little risk involved. You won’t know if the structure you’ve built is sound until it’s baked, cooled slightly and then cut into. But where’s the fun in safety. And even if your finished Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna is lacking structural integrity, it will still taste damn delicious.

Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna
Living for this Le Creuset Roaster in Blueberry? Find it here.

So, with all the warnings, disclaimers and words of encouragement out of the way, there is really only one more thing to say: Make this Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna. Make it! It is so freakin’ delicious, it feeds a crowd and it tastes springy while still providing comfort in these rainy months. What more could you ask for in a non-traditional, spring-forward lasagna. Nothing, that’s what!

Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna



Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna

Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


Sweet Pea Tuna Lasagna

  • 1 batch Tuna Goat Cheese Bechamel see below
  • 1 batch Fresh Lasagna Noodles see below
  • 1 batch Lemon Ricotta see below
  • 1 batch Spinach Sweet Pea Puree see below
  • 2 cups pecorino shredded
  • 1 handful micro greens for sprinkling
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves for sprinkling

Fresh Lasagna Noodles

  • 165g (6oz) semolina flour
  • 165g (6oz) 00 flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp water

Tuna Goat Cheese Bechamel

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 454g (16oz) cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard heaping
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 300g (10.5oz) goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill finely chopped
  • 3 cans chunked tuna packed in water drained

Lemon Ricotta

  • 475g (16.75oz) ricotta
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Spinach Sweet Pea Puree

  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh spinach tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves tightly packed
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Fresh Lasagna Noodles

  • Pour the flours in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine.
  • Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the yolks, eggs, and water to the well. Using a fork, whisk the yolks, eggs, and water together, gradually integrating the dry ingredients into the mixture until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough until it comes together to form a smooth, silky ball.
  • Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Once the dough has rested, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Using a pasta roller, roll the dough out into sheets. The pasta should be just transparent. Dust the sheets with semolina and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Liberally salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until the sheet rise to the top, about 2 minutes. Take the sheets out of the water and lay them flat on lint-free tea towels. Set aside until ready to use.

Tuna Goat Cheese Bechamel

  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a healthy pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the onions for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in the mushrooms and saute until softened and deeper in colour, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the veg to a large plate and return the skillet to the heat.
  • Add the butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour. Pour in the wine while stirring constantly. Whisk in the salt and mustard and slowly add the milk. 
  • Once the milk is integrated, increase the heat and cook until bubbles break the surface. Take the sauce off of the heat and add the goat cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and is fully integrated. Then stir in the tuna, dill and the reserved vegetables. Set the sauce aside to cool.

Lemon Ricotta

  • Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Sweet Pea Spinach Puree

  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until tender. Spoon the peas out of the water and place them in a large food processor. 
  • Add the spinach to the pot of boiling water and stir until wilted. Drain the spinach and add it to the food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, mint, and salt. Blitz until smooth.
  • Transfer the puree to a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Sweet Pea Lasagna

  • When ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spoon a thin layer of the Tuna Goat Cheese Bechamel into the base of a 12×16, 5L roaster. Add a layer of noodles, followed by another layer of the bechamel. Place another layer of the noodles on top and spread the ricotta mixture on top. Add another layer of noodles. Next, spread an even layer of the puree followed by more noodles.
  • Finish the lasagna with a final layer of the bechamel and top with the shredded pecorino cheese. Cover the lasagna with tin foil and place in the oven.
  • Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes, then remove the tin foil and bake for 30 more. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 5 minutes or until the surface is brown and bubbly. Keep a close eye on it.
  • Take the lasagna out of the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a topping of fresh micro greens and mint leaves.

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