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Shellfish Bake

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Serves: 6

350g / 12 oz dried conchiglie
85g / 3 oz butter, plus extra for greasing
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
175g / 6 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
175g / 6 oz cooked peeled prawns
175g / 6 oz cooked crab meat
pinch of cayenne pepper
300ml / 10 fl oz Bechamel Sauce
55g / 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 beef tomatoes, sliced
olive oil, for brushing

To serve
green salad
crusty bread


Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4. Bring a large, heavy-based saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain well, return to the saucepan and stir in 25g / 1 oz of the butter. Cover the pan and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a large. heavy-based frying pan. Add the fennel and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the prawns and crabmeat. cook for a further 1 minute. then remove the frying pan from the heat.

Grease 6 small oven proof dishes with butter. Stir the cayenne pepper into the Bechamel Sauce. add the shellfish mixture and pasta. then spoon into the prepared dishes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and arrange the tomato slices on top, then brush the tomatoes with a little olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. or until golden brown. Serve hot with a green salad and crusty bread.

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