Ingredients
For the filling:
  • 16 jumbo pasta shells
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 sea scallops, trimmed of foot and quartered
  • 10-12 medium shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails off and chopped
  • ½ pound king crab or lump crab, picked and checked for shell and cartilage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¾ pound ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to top the dish
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus more to top the dish
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste, or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup vodka
  • One 28-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
  • A few leaves of basil, torn, plus a few to serve
  • ½-¾ cup mascarpone, to your liking as to creaminess of sauce
Yield
Serves: 4
Preparation

Place 4-5 quarts of water in a big pot on the stove to boil for pasta. Salt the water and cook shells 6-7 minutes, then cold shock and drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high to high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, and melt the butter into oil. Cook the scallops and shrimp to opaque and firm, add crab to heat, then add thyme, salt, pepper, vermouth or wine, and juice of ½ lemon. Remove to bowl and cool.  

In a second bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup parm, parsley, egg, nutmeg, and salt. Add the seafood to ricotta mixture and combine.     

For the sauce, place a large, deep skillet over medium heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and when it foams, add the onions and stir to soften a few minutes. Add the garlic and season with salt, then stir in the chili paste or chili flakes. Add vodka and reduce by half, 2-3 minutes, add tomatoes and tear in a few leaves of basil. Reduce heat and simmer sauce 20 minutes. Stir in mascarpone and reduce heat to low.    

Spoon a layer of sauce into a casserole dish.

Fill cooled shells with seafood and cheese mixture, arrange in dish, top with remaining sauce, a few handfuls of parm, and bake covered 20 minutes, then uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more to lightly brown the parm. Sprinkle with parsley, serve.