This decadent pasta dish is perfect for special occasions! Cannelloni are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of crab and ricotta, then coated in a creamy, velvety béchamel sauce. This was originally an older recipe of mine that I recently gave an update to, and now I think it’s most delicious than ever.
Creamy Baked Crab Cannelloni
- 1 box 8 ounces cannelloni or manicotti pasta (about 12 shells)
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves plus extra for serving, optional
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 pound lump crabmeat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Bechamel Sauce recipe follows
For The Bechamel Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk warmed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
- In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan, egg, basil, garlic, crab, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Butter a 13-by-9 baking dish. Pour about a cup of the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in the baking dish. Top the filled cannelloni with the remaining Bechamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with extra basil if desired. Serve hot.
- For The Bechamel Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly, and simmer until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and nutmeg. (The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)