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Rach let John's band choose the recipe for this cook-along—the winner was crab-stuffed shells with creamy vodka sauce.
For another twist, check out her Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Shells.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and season it with salt. Add pasta and under cook the pasta 3 minutes less than directions. Drain, arrange cut-side up on parchment-lined tray.
For the vodka sauce, in large pot over medium heat, combine EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, and butter. When butter melts, stir in the garlic and red pepper and stir 2 minutes, add vodka and reduce by half, add tomatoes, passata, salt, sugar, and basil, and simmer 20 minutes, then add cream and reduce heat to low.
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
For the crab filling, place a skillet over medium heat with EVOO and butter. When butter melts, add shallots and garlic, season with salt, add thyme and lemon zest, and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add dry vermouth or vodka and let it almost evaporate, add crab, combine, add hot sauce and lemon juice and cool. Combine with ricotta, egg, half the Parm cheese and chopped parsley and celery leaves. Pour a couple of cups of sauce into a baking dish and fill shells, arrange open-side up and pour additional sauce over, making a stripe across each row of the shells. I angle the shells in to fill pan tightly. Top with some shredded mozzarella and remaining Parm. Leave enough of the shells peeking out so you can see that these are crab-stuffed shells.
Cover shells with foil and bake 30 minutes, uncover and bake until cheese is brown and bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes more. Garnish with fresh basil.