Creamy and crab flavoured is an excellent description of these crab-filled pasta shells.
Use the meat from the claws, as well as the meat from the crab’s body to make up the crabmeat stuffing.
500g cooked crab meat
500g cream cheese, softened
100g freshly grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 green shallots, finely sliced
A good pinch of dried chilli flakes
12 or so fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
200g pasta shells
3 cups cream (or natural yoghurt)
2 tablespoons green shallots, finely sliced
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Combine the crab meat, softened cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, green shallots, chilli flakes and tarragon in a bowl. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Place this filling mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to stuff the cooked pasta shells.
2. Cook the pasta shells in boiling water, according to the directions on the packet. When cooked, drain the pasta shells on a clean tea towel.
3. In a small saucepan combine the cream and green shallots. Heat the contents of the saucepan over a low heat, until the sauce mixture is reduced by half and thickened.
4. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
5. Spoon the reduced sauce into the base of a baking dish. Carefully stuff the pasta shells with the crabmeat mixture and place them on top of the sauce in a single layer in the baking dish. Cover with alfoil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the extra Parmesan cheese over the top.
Cooking sand crabs
Using a large (approximately 16L) stock pot, fill 3/4 full of water and stir in 2tbsp salt and 1tbsp of sugar. Bring to the boil.
Place the crabs into the boiling water. Cook for about 7 minutes starting from when the water starts to re-boil. Put the lid on when cooking.
At the completion of the cooking time, remove the crabs from the boiling water and plunge them into either a sink or large container of cold water. You can add ice to the water to cool the crabs more quickly.Reads: 1098