CRAB PASTA BAKE

I have always preferred brown crab meat. To my tastebuds it has far more flavour than the (more prized) white. It is fabulous heated with some fiery chilli and lots of garlic and used to coat al dente spaghetti, served with a hefty squeeze of lemon. Makes me salivate just thinking about it. This Crab Pasta Bake recipe is another way to use crab and pasta together that I found in Good Housekeeping. To make a veggie version, replace the crabmeat with 150g crumbed goats cheese and the fish stock with vegetable stock.

CRAB PASTA BAKECrab Pasta Bake

Ingredients serves 4
150g conchiglioni pasta shells
150g crabmeat – can be white, brown or a mix of the two
150g ricotta
Half garlic clove, crushed
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
For the sauce:
50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml fish stock
125ml white wine
For the crumb:
40g fresh breadcrumbs (or cheat and use ready made – Waitrose do a tub of Lemon & Pepper ones which would be delish)
2 tbsp olive oil
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Small handful of finely chopped parsley

How to prepare
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil and cook pasta for 8 mins until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (mark 6). In medium bowl, mix crabmeat with ricotta, garlic, tomatoes and some seasoning.

For the sauce, melt butter in a medium pan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and gradually mix in stock until smooth. Stir in wine. Return to heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 4 mins, stirring occasionally.

Pour sauce into a shallow 4 pint ovenproof dish. Fill pasta shells with crab mix and arrange (filling side up) on top of the sauce in a single layer.

Mix crumb ingredients and sprinkle over pasta. Cook for 25 – 25 mins in oven until golden and bubbling.