March Recipe From Chef: Shells Stuffed with Crab Meat and Spinach

March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm (Willow Writers)

The Lenten season is upon us. Here is an easy, low calorie (220 per serving) and delicious recipe that will make you forget about eating meat. – Chef Haberle

Shells Stuffed with Crab Meat and Spinach
Makes 6 servings (two shells per serving)

Ingredients:
12 jumbo pasta shells
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion chopped (about 1 ¼ cup)
1/8 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ lb fresh spinach, stemmed, washed and sliced into a chiffonade
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
12 oz fresh lump crab meat picked over for shells
½ cup part skim ricotta cheese

 Ingredients for White Wine Sauce:
½ cup dry white wine
1 TBSP. finely chopped shallot
1/8 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP. chopped parsley
1 TBSP. heavy cream

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the shells in 4 quarts of boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring gently to prevent sticking for 12 minutes-they will be slightly undercooked. Drain the shells and rinse them under cold running water.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently until the onion begins to brown, about ten minutes.

Stir in the spinach, the basil, and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Cook the mixture, stirring until the spinach wilts-about two minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the crab meat, ricotta cheese, the remaining tablespoon of lime juice and some more black pepper; mix lightly.

Stuff each shell with some crab meat mixture, gently pressing it down to round out the shell.

Put the shells in a shallow baking dish and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over them. Cover the shells loosely with aluminum foil, shiny side down, and bake for 20 minutes.

While the shells are baking, prepare the sauce. Put the white wine, shallot, salt, pepper and ½ cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until only 1/3 cup of liquid remains-12 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat; add the parsley and whisk in the heavy cream. Return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce for three more minutes to thicken slightly. Pour the sauce over the baked shells and serve.

Stay tuned for a video of Chef preparing this recipe next week!

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