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Crab Stuffed Shells With Tarragon Tomato Sauce

Italian.Chef's picture
  Jumbo pasta shells 8 Ounce (About 40 Shells)
  Cream cheese 8 Ounce (At Room Temperature)
  Crabmeat 8 Ounce, picked over to remove cartilage (Fresh, Frozen Or Canned)
  Bread crumbs 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Finely chopped scallions 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Including Green Tops)
  Lemon juice 1 Teaspoon
  Ground nutmeg 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Cayenne pepper 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Canned stewed tomatoes and juice 32 Ounce (Two 16 Ounce Cans)
  White wine 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Chopped fresh tarragon/1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon 2 Teaspoon
  Freshly ground black pepper To Taste

Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta.
Add salt and cook the shells in rapidly boiling water for about 10 minutes until al dente.
Drain in a colander, run cold water over the shells to stop their cooking and drain well on paper towels.
There should be a few extra shells, so don't be concerned if a few of them break.Combine the softened cream cheese and the crab-meat in a bowl with the bread crumbs, scallions, lemon juice, nutmeg and cayenne.
Mix well and set aside.
To make the sauce, combine the stewed tomatoes and their juice with the wine and the tarragon.
Bring tothe boil, breaking up the stewed tomatoes with the side of a spoon.
Reduce the heat and cook the sauce gently for 5 minutes.
Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Stuff the shells, using about 1 tablespoon of filling for each one.
There should be enough of the crab mixture to fill about 30 shells.
Arrange the shells, stuffed sides up, in the baking dish and pour the remaining sauce over the pasta.
The sauce need not cover the shells completely.
In fact, it is nice if some of their shape is still visible.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until heated through.
Grind black pepper over the top before serving.

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