To give credit where credit is due, this is originally a Rachael Ray recipe. I made a few small changes to adjust for my family’s tastes which usually means adding extra spices. With those changes this is what we’ve ended up with.
Is this the part where I say “YUMMO!”?
- 1 box of medium shell pasta or whatever shape you choose
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin or vegetable oil
- 1 med. onion, chopped
- 2-3 ribs of celery
- 1 small of ½ large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup milk (I use half skim and half FF Half & Half)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar (the Cabot 50% or 75% reduced fat cheeses work well with this, too)
- 12-16 oz (depending on your preference) of fresh or good quality canned lump crab meat
- 1½ cups frozen corn
- 1 heaping tbsp thyme
- Few pinches of cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp Liquid Smoke
- Bring pasta water to a boil, cook pasta to your desired firmness
- While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and then add onions and celery, cook for about 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another minute or two.
- Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then milk
- When milk bubbles, add crab and corn to heat through, about another minute. Stir in cheese, thyme, cayenne, Liquid Smoke, and salt & pepper. Melt cheese into sauce.
- Drain pasta and toss with crab and cheese mixture. Adjust seasoning to your liking.