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I like to eat supper outdoors, in my Grotto (The Ancient and much-Revered Ospidillo Grotto!) and this is a great, easy casserole that I can enjoy there. And did you notice? There's no red meat in this dish. Lots of flavors and there's no can of soup in it either! I'll bet your family will like it just fine. Who gave me the recipe? I drank too many beers in the Grotto and I don't remember! Sorry!
- 1⁄2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (divided)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 cups whole milk (pre-heated to about 100 degrees in microwave)
- 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 1⁄2 cups monterey jack cheese, with jalapenas (shredded, divided)
- 3 1⁄2 cups medium pasta shells, cooked and drained (or, bowtie pasta)
- 1 lb imitation crabmeat, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup seasoned dry bread crumb
- 2 quarts water (for boiling pasta)
- 1 teaspoon table salt (for boiling pasta)
- Pam cooking spray
- Cook your pasta in lightly salted water (about 2/3 of a pound, dry) until tender and drain. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute the bell pepper and scallions in 2 tablespoons of the butter until tender.
- Blend in the flour and salt into the pepper-scallion mix, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the pre-warmed milk. Bring to a boil.
- Cook and stir the boiling sauce until it thickens and then remove from heat. Stir in the tomato and parsley. Stir in one cup of the cheese until it melts, then, stir in the pasta and crabmeat.
- Transfer this mix into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish which has been sprayed with Pam. Cover and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree F. oven for 20 minutes.
- Melt remaining butter and toss it with the bread crumbs.
- After the casserole has been in the oven for 20 minutes, remove it and sprinkle first the buttered bread crumbs over it, and then the remaining cheese (on top of the crumbs).
- Bake UNCOVERED for 5-10 more minutes. The top should be golden brown.