A few years ago, on the way home from a trip to the river, we stopped and bought several pounds of fresh crabmeat. We ate one of them, I am thinking I made crab cakes, but we froze 2 more pounds for the holiday season. I love to make hot crab dip when I entertain, and the price of crab goes up astronomically around the holidays here in VA. I'd also planned a luncheon for a group of ladies. I was looking for something to make a pound of crab meat feed a lot of people when I came across Giada's recipe for Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni on the Food Network website, so I made that. It was a HUGE hit, but I knew I could put my own spin on it and make it more my own. I've made it twice more, changing a few things up, and the last batch hit the nail on the head, flavor wise, at least for our family. This recipe makes 12 - 14 filled cannelloni shells, so it will feed 6 - 12 people, depending on what else you are having with it. One cannelloni for lunch is quite enough, it's a pretty rich recipe. For dinner I'd count 1 1/2 to 2 per person.
A special thanks to my sweet cousin from across the country who took these pictures! It was great having you here!
|Crab Cannelloni with Roasted Garlic Shrimp|
Crab Cannelloni with Roasted Garlic Shrimp
1 package cannelloni or manicotti pasta tubes ( 12 - 14 pieces )
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 c. low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1 c. grated parmesan, divided use
1/4 c. fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
White sauce, recipe follows
Roasted Garlic Shrimp, recipe follows.
Butter a 13' X 9" baking dish.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the crab, eggs, ricotta, 3/4 c. parmesan, Old Bay, salt, pepper and basil. Mix gently until just combined, being careful not to break up the crab too much. Fill each cannelloni shell with the crab mixture. Place them in the baking dish. Cover with the white sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. parmesan cheese. At this point you may bake the casserole or cover it and hold it for up to 2 days. To bake, bring it to room temperature and bake covered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the edges are bubbly and starting to brown slightly. Remove from oven and add the roasted shrimp on top.
White Sauce for Cannelloni
5 T. butter
1/4 c. all purpose flour
3.5 cups 1% milk, warmed up a little in the microwave
1/2 c. dry white wine or champagne (I used Korbel Brut Sparkling wine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until it is completely incorporated into the butter. Add the milk, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, add the wine, salt and pepper. Continue to warm the sauce, stirring so that no lumps form. It will begin to bubble around the edges. Turn the heat down to low and add the nutmeg. The sauce will thicken quickly, but you don't want to let it get to a full rolling boil. When it gets thick and easily coats the back of a spoon, turn it off and cover it until you need to use it.
Roasted Garlic Shrimp
24 large or extra large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Mix the above ingredients together and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place the shrimp into the oven for the last 8 minutes you are cooking the crab cannelloni. The shrimp are done when they are opaque. Remove both dishes from the oven and arrange the shrimp on top of the crab dish.
I also made a yummy green salad, with fresh strawberries and blueberries, red onion, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese, lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was yummy! Nothing like fresh berries when they are in season!!