As with all of my recipes, I cook them first, we try them out, and then I post them. I am so excited to share this recipe with you because it has no dairy in it, very little oil, is low fat, yet tasty, and can be eaten during fasting, Lent, if you are a vegetarian, or if you just enjoy foods in this category. I hope you like this recipe. Now, I need to let you know, that some of the hardest things that I have made are some Greek delicacies, such as baklava and moussaka, and this ranks right up there with how long it takes to make this, however, it is so worth it. Please make sure to look through all of the steps, since there are ingredients needed in every step. Okay, you ready? Here we go……
Step 1- Roast the vegetables.
2 zucchini, washed and cut into small bite size pieces (taste raw vegetable first to make sure not bitter)
2 yellow squash, washed and cut into bite size pieces (taste raw vegetable first to make sure not bitter)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
25 cloves garlic, sliced in half long ways
fresh cracked pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil (if fasting) OR extra virgin olive oil (if not fasting)
13×9 baking dish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place all ingredients in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 400 degrees.
Step 2- Boil the pasta shells.
1 box pasta shells (about 35 shells)
Prepare pasta according to directions on the box, using the lesser time frame, since we will continue cooking these in the oven. Cook, rinse, cool pasta.
Step 3- Make the spaghetti sauce.
Prepare 1 recipe The Simply Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (please see my blog)
Step 4- Put your stuffing together.
12 oz OR 16 oz cooked and cleaned crawfish (or crayfish) tails (if using the package ones, use their fat, too)
(Some crawfish come in 12 oz bags and others come in 16 oz bags, so you can use either one. They are found in the seafood department in your grocer’s freezer section or fresh seafood section).
2 stalks green onions, sliced thin
1 bunch curly leaf parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt
fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 box (8 oz) (1 1/2 cups to be used for stuffing and 1 cup for topping the shells later) panko plain bread crumbs (these are Japanese bread crumbs, found in the international food aisle)
1/3 cup pinot grigio wine
Using the same 13×9 baking dish, add all above ingredients to your roasted vegetables and mix well.
Step 5- Stuffing the shells.
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs (for topping)
1 recipe The Simply Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
large baking pan, with sides, and cover, to fit about 35 stuffed shells (or aluminum foil)
Make sure oven is preheated to 400 degrees. Now it is time to stuff our shells. At this point, we all need a little relaxation, so what I do is I move everything I will need to the kitchen table, and I relax, and that is where I put everything together at. Of course, if any of your pots are hot or warm, please use a trivet underneath them. First of all, we need to add some spaghetti sauce to the bottom of our pan, leaving enough to top our pasta shells with later, so maybe use about half of the sauce. Next, we will open the shell in one hand, the opposite way, so it will open like a mouth, and with the other hand we will scoop about 2 tablespoons mixture into the shell, making sure each shell has crawfish in it. Lay all your shells, in a single layer, open end up, on your sauce. Once you are done stuffing the shells, sparingly drizzle sauce over all of the openings, and put a little on each shell, and then sprinkle with remaining panko bread crumbs. Cover and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Let cool. Now it is time to relax and give yourself a pat on the back, because this was a hard recipe, and you should be proud of yourself. Enjoy the fruits of your labor !!!