Crab Minestrone with Stuffed Shells

Crab Minestrone with Stuffed Shells
Staff Writer

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A great  bowl of minestrone is hard not to love, but is even better with some fresh crabs thrown in and served alongside crabmeat stuffed shells. The crabmeat makes it a more substantial meal, and the minestrone is a great sauce for the shells.

Notes

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Ingredients

For the soup

  • 1/2  Cup  olive oil
  • live hard-shell crabs
  • 1  Cup  chopped celery, divided
  • 1/2  Cup  chopped leeks
  • 1/2  Cup  chopped fresh basil
  • cloves garlic
  • 1  Cup  tomato sauce
  • 8  Cups  chicken stock
  • 1  Tablespoon  coarse salt
  • 1  Tablespoon  peppercorns
  • 1/2  Cup  diced carrots
  • 1/2  Cup  green beans
  • 1/2  Cup  tomato concasse
  • 1/2  Cup  chopped spinach
  • 1  Cup  white beans, cooked

For the crabmeat-stuffed shells

  • 1/4  Pound  small pasta shells
  • 3  Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/4  Cup  breadcrumbs
  • 1/4  Cup  butter
  • 3/4  Cups  lump crabmeat
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  coarse salt
  • 1/4  Teaspoon  freshly ground pepper

Directions

For the soup

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add crabs, ½ cup of the celery, leeks, basil and 6 cloves of the garlic. Sauté, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, broth, salt and peppercorns.

Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming and discarding foam that rises to the top. Drain the broth and discard vegetables. Return broth to soup pot and bring to a simmer.

Mince the last two cloves of garlic. Reduce the broth to approximately 1 ½ quarts. Add carrots, the rest of the celery, and the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato concasse, spinach, white beans, minced garlic, salt and pepper and simmer an additional 5 minutes.
 

For the crabmeat-stuffed shells

Cook the pasta shells in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, discard any broken shells, and toss the remainder of shells with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the breadcrumbs and butter with crabmeat, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the crabmeat mixture into a pastry bag and using a small tip, fill each shell. Coat a baking pan with remaining olive oil and place filled shells in pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
 

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
24g
34%
Sugar
8g
9%
Saturated Fat
4g
17%
Cholesterol
19mg
6%
Carbohydrate, by difference
33g
25%
Protein
11g
24%
Vitamin A, RAE
275µg
39%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
53mg
71%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
126µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
105mg
11%
Choline, total
36mg
8%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Fluoride, F
9µg
0%
Folate, total
61µg
15%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
47mg
15%
Niacin
4mg
29%
Phosphorus, P
147mg
21%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
736mg
49%
Water
273g
10%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Crab Shopping Tip

Seafood shopping is quite easy in the general sense. Rule of thumb: if it smells fishy, don't buy. Fresh seafood should smell mild and more like the ocean and sea water rather than fish.

Crab Cooking Tip

Looking for a quick mid-week dinner? Seafood is a safe bet. It's quick to cook and simple recipes can get dinner on the table in 20 minutes.