November 05, 2007

Crab Stuffed Shells

64 oz whole tomatoes (in juice), hand crushed
1/2 lb fresh lump crab meat
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons grated Asiago (divided)
1/4 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella (divided)
1 egg
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
white pepper
jumbo pasta shells, cooked and cooled


In a large pan, heat the olive oil then add onions, carrots and garlic and saute just until the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, cook 2-4 minutes or until it reduces slightly. Add the tomatoes, simmer for until sauce thickens, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in cream. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup asiago, nutmeg, crab, salt, pepper and egg. Mix thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Fill shells with 1 tablespoon of the cheese/crab mixture. Place filled shells in a single layer on the sauce. Shells can be placed very close together. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover in foil and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 1/2 hour, then remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and the dish looks bubbly and hot.
My thoughts:
I think this is the very first time I've used fresh crabmeat for anything other than crabcakes. This is a nice twist on classic stuffed shells, the addition of crab really takes it to the next level. Matt came up with the idea when I was having some recipe ennui at the store this afternoon. Stuffed shells are a lot fun to make especially as a team, the mixing/stuffing parts go a lot faster.