Shrimp Stuffed Pasta Shells with Spinach and Creamy Bechamel Sauce

Ingredients

Bechamel Sauce

  • 4 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon herbed sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Shrimp Sauce

  • 1- 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, smashed, retaining sauce

  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup sweet pepper, orange, red, yellow, finely chopped

  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced

  • 1 cup celery, finely diced

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons herbed sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 small bay leaves

  • 1 pound Gulf shrimp, 31/35 count peeled and deveined

  • 1 box large pasta shells

  • 1 -5 ounce box baby spinach

  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Directions

Bechamel Sauce

  • Melt butter on medium heat, add flour whisking until incorperatedinto butter. Cook on low heat 2-3 minutes. Raise heat to medium, add milk and herbed salt. Whisk continuously until sauce bubbles and thickens, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add nutmeg. Set aside while you prepare the rest.

Shrimp Sauce

  • In a dutch oven heat extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots, peppers and celery, cook until softened about 10 minutes. Add herbed salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Add wine and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.Add San Marzano tomatoes and their sauce, worcestershire and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes so flavours combine. Add shrimp and cook until done about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to be able to handle when stuffing the shells.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • In a large pot, cook 1 box of large pasta shells until halfway cooked, tender enough to handle but not too tender or they will overcook. Drain well, let cool to the touch.

  • You will need a large baking pan. Lay spinach on the bottom, then fill the shells with shrimp and sauce, 2 or 3 shrimp to the shell. Nestle shells on spinach. When done ladle bechamel sauce over shells to completely cover. Top with Parmesan.

  • Put uncovered in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

  • Serves 6 to 8 people. Enjoy!

Dirk FucikCrustaceans