Dungeness Crab Stuffed Manicotti
Several cups of cooked and shelled Dungeness crab
3-4 tablespoons of butter
2 bunches of green onions, finely chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 bunch of chopped Italian parsley
1 container mascarpone cheese
2-3 tablespoons ricotta
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- boxes of dry manicotti pasta 12-15 shells depending on the size.
3-4 tablespoons butter
Whole bulb of garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste (I always use kosher salt because it’s not as “salty” and gives a little margin for error
Steps for filling
- Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute or two to release flavors
- Add lemon pepper and Italian seasoning and cook for 30 seconds to a minute stirring constantly.
- Stir in half of the parsley and remove from heat.
- Let the garlic and onion mixture cool just enough so it’s still warm but not piping hot
- In a large bowl combine garlic and onion mixture with mascarpone cheese and ricotta. Stir until you have an even consistency and smoothness and the garlic and onion mixture is well mixed in.
- Add crab, mozzarella and half of the rest of the parsley. Mix well with either your hands or a mixing spoon; sometimes a fork helps break up the larger pieces of crab if you’re not using your hands to mix.
Note: you can make the mixture more or less cheesy by adjusting the amount of mozzarella; I like to use just enough to help the filling hold together a little better. If you start to run low on crab for filling you could add some mozzarella too.
Steps for Sauce
For the stuffed manicotti recipe do this last, right before putting stuffed manicotti into oven/smoker.
- Peel garlic and press into bowl. Pressing (as compared to chopping releases are far superior flavor profile).
- Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet.
- Add garlic and cook for about a minute. DO NOT BURN the garlic; just release the flavor.
- Stir in flour slowly and cook for about a minute stirring constantly. This is the roux – take care when making roux as it’s the heart of the sauce.
- Reduce heat to simmer and slowly mix in a little half and half then a little milk using a whisk (make sure the whisk is ok to use on your nonstick skillet – a wire whisk will scratch it). Continue whisking in a little half and half then a little milk. (Note: you could use all milk to make it thinner if desired). Continue simmering until sauce begins to thicken a little – whisk out any lumps
- Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
- Stir in parmesan and parsley, remove from heat, and use immediately. Sauce will thicken if you let it stand.
Steps for manicotti
- Cook manicotti as described on packaging. Make sure to cook no more than al dente since you will bake after stuffing and you don’t want manicotti to be mushy.
- When done cooking manicotti, rinse in cold water and drain.
- Butter a large glass baking dish (or deep aluminum baking tray).
- Stuff manicotti with filling by hand.
- Lay stuffed manicotti into baking dish.
- Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella over the pasta.
- Make sauce and spoon a light coating of sauce over all the manicotti; make sure you cover all the pasta with LIGHT coating as this will protect the pasta from becoming hard in oven/smoker.
- Sprinkle the rest of the parsley over the manicotti.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. All we are doing here is heating up dish enough to get filling hot and melt all the cheese. Watch closely to ensure that pasta doesn’t get hard. A little crispiness at the edges is tasty, hard pasta isn’t! You could cover the dish with foil to be safe but I just watch it closely (and make sure that there’s sauce covering all the pasta.
(Alternative to #9) I think a pellet smoker makes this the preferable way as controlling the temp is easier. The smokiness on the sauce and cheese is really good! As usual for seafood, alder chips are my preference. Preheat smoker to 350 and smoke for about 15 minutes or until heated throughout and cheese is melted nicely. Be