Crab and courgette gratin





Crab and courgette gratin

Originally uploaded by framboise.

Bought some lumaconi pasta from Sainsbury’s last week. It’s a rather large pasta, perfect for stuffing. We thought the recipe on the back of the packet sounded better than usual, and tried it out. The recipe suggested using broccoli florets, but we haven’t had any in the last couple of veg boxes, so used courgettes instead. The first time I cooked this, I added a handful of toasted pine nuts to the mix, but P forgot to do that tonight. I think a touch of toasted nut adds a bit of texture and contrast to the smooth crab/mascarpone. Here’s my version of the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 pieces of lumaconi pasta, cooked for 12 min and drained
  • 1 tin of white crab meat (~170g)
  • half a small tub of mascarpone (~125g)
  • 1-2 courgettes, cut into small chunks
  • handful of toasted pine nuts (~100g or more… I like my nuts)
  • 1 tbsp of chives, chopped
  • a few tomatoes, either to stuff or as garnish
  • shavings of parmigiano reggiano (parmesan)

Method:

  1. Mix the crab meat, mascarpone, nuts and chives in a bowl. You can mix in the courgettes and tomatoes in at this stage as well, but it’s easier to portion out the veggies fairly on their own.
  2. Stuff the lumaconi and shave some parmigiano on top. (We’ve finished our massive chunk from V&C, so had to do without.)
  3. Bake in a 180 degC oven for half an hour, or until the mixture is warmed through and the cheese starts to brown slightly.

We found that however gently we simmered the lumaconi, a few pieces fell apart every time. So cook a few extra just in case. What we did to salvage the situation was layer the larger bits with crab mix in a ramekin, kinda like a mini lasagne.

We’re also trying to get through our small wine cellar (really a cheap plastic wine rack plus the bottles from Virgin Wines that couldn’t fit in). We’ve been looking foward to our final bottle of Cairn O’ Mohr: the elderberry one. It’s a very pleasant, if slightly sweet, wine. They describe it on the label as port-like. That’s a pretty accurate description. But I’d probably call it “port-light”. 😉

Crab and courgette in lumaconi Cairn O' Mohr Elderberry wine Crab and courgette pasta gratin
Before baking Wine while waiting After baking

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