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by on May 27th, 2016

Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Pasta Shells


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Stuffed shells perfect for summer get together.

Do you cook more shrimp in the summer or are you like me and cook it year round when you get them on sale. This dish would be great with some lobster thrown in to the mix.

I love shrimp in just about any recipe. I’ve pickled them, corn dogged them, skewered them, coconut fried them, Bang Banged them, and like Bubba Gump I could go on and on listing the ways I like shrimp.

This recipe just happens to have crab meat in it along with the shrimp. After making this dish I decided that maybe the next time around instead of stuffing the shells this would be great just mixed in with a penne or rigatoni pasta; saves some time stuffing and the taste is going to be just the same.

Sour cream was supposed to go in this dish but my carton container something other than that when I opened it and I was in luck since grandson Thomas had just been for a visit and left behind a carton of plain yogurt. I like the yogurt and would probably use that the next time instead of the sour cream.

One would think my husband was the luckiest man alive, getting to eat something new and delicious every night. Well, let me tell you, I do make some flops now and then and we don’t eat like this every night. Sometimes he gets a dish pushed at him when he isn’t even hungry with the words “eat this” and “tell me what you think”. Most of the time he likes the dish and occasionally he may give suggestions on what he thinks it needs.

Please give this one a try the next time you get a good deal on some shrimp or crab and please leave a comment below and let me know what you think. (Below the three little pictures of “you may also like”.)

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The sour cream got changed out for yogurt because I had put something else in that container. What a surprise when I opened it, but the yogurt was really nice in the sauce.

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Shell and devein the shrimp and cut into 1/3 or 1/4ths (depending on the size of the shrimp.

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Boil the jumbo pasta shells in salted boiling water about 2 minutes shy of package directions. You still want them a little al dente.

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In about 1-2 tablespoons of oil, saute the shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes and the red bell pepper for 4-5 minutes or until the shallots and garlic get a little translucent.

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Add in the chopped shrimp and stir 5-6 minutes until they start to turn pink.

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Add in the crab meat and gently stir to combine.

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You can make the sauce in the same pan that you cooked the shrimp/crab mixture. Melt the butter and add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Stir in the cream and the yogurt and whisk until smooth.

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Add in the Parmesan and fontina cheeses.

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Add in about half of the green onions.

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Stuff the seafood mixture into the cooked pasta shells.

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Pour about half of the sauce into a casserole dish that you have coated with cooking spray.

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Set the filled pasta shells into the dish.

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Pour the sauce around all the shells and drizzle some of the sauce over the stuffed shells.

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Drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter over the Panko and the 1/4 cup of parmesan and mix together.

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Sprinkle casserole with the bread crumbs and the remaining green onion pieces. Bake until hot and bubbly and a little brown. This may take 20-30 minutes.

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I can’t tell you how good this was, you will have to try it for yourself. My husband had three helpings. I served some sautéed spinach on the side. I am thinking about adding the spinach to the sauce the next time to make the dish “florentine”.

Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Pasta Shells
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Ingredients
  1. 1 box cooked jumbo pasta shells, or penne pasta
  2. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  3. 2 large shallots
  4. 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  5. 1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  6. 1/2 c. red bell pepper, finely minced
  7. 1 lb. shrimp, shelled, deveined, chopped coarsely
  8. 10 oz. lump crab meat
  9. 1 lemon, juice and zest
  10. salt and white pepper to taste
  11. 1/2 c. green onions, finely sliced
Sauce
  1. 1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  2. 6 oz. plain yogurt
  3. 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  4. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  5. 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  6. 1 c. grated Fontina cheese, (or provolone or Gruyere)
  7. 1 c. Panko bread crumbs
  8. 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  9. 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  10. green onions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray casserole dish with vegetable oil.
  2. Cook the shells until al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the shallots, chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper and the 2-3 cloves of minced garlic. Saute until soft but still with a little crunch.
  4. Add in the chopped shrimp then add the lemon zest and juice. Salt to taste. Cook until the shrimp is done (pink). Gently fold in the crab so that it doesn't totally shred apart.
  5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet (or same pan) and saute the 2 cloves of minced garlic until fragrant but not browned. Add in the yogurt and the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Bring to a simmer. Add in the mozzarella, green onions and the 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese. Add some salt and white pepper to taste and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
  6. Add most of the sauce to the sprayed or buttered casserole dish.
  7. Fill the cooked pasta shells with the seafood mixture and place into the casserole dish on top of the sauce. Drizzle any of the sauce left over the top of the stuffed shells.
  8. Mix the Panko and the one tablespoon butter. Sprinkle this over the shells and add the 1/4 c. parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 17-20 minutes
Notes
  1. I started with a recipe from willcookforsmiles.com and then merged my own sauce recipe and changed the ingredients a little. Thanks to them for the inspiration.
  2. I will definitely make this again but I think next time I will cook 12 ounces of penne pasta instead of stuffing the jumbo shells and mix the crab, shrimp and sauce together and pour in casserole. If you do it this way, you may need to make 1 1/2 recipe of the sauce.
Here is the sauce I'm using when I make it into a casserole using the penne pasta
Alfredo Sauce
  1. 2 c. heavy cream
  2. 1 stick butter
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 5 ounces shredded Parmesan Cheese
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter in large saucepan. Add in the cream and garlic and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese and the fontina cheese from the original recipe. Stir until completely melted and thickened. I will stir the seafood mixture and pasta into the sauce and pour into casserole dish and top with more parmesan cheese and bake until hot and bubbly and starting to brown a bit.
  6. Try it both ways and let me know how you like it best.
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