Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fresh Dungeness crab pasta

Dungeness crab is in season in Northern Ca, always a favorite time of year. There's so many ways to enjoy it, freshly cracked with sourdough bread and champagne, in light salads where the crab shines through and with pasta. Bon Appetit had a recipe in the January 2012 issue that was irresistible. Here's the link

This is a light and fresh recipe and I chose fresh spaghetti to go with it. I went with another favorite winter item and roasted Brussels sprouts with extra virgin olive oil. We drank Viognier with it and what a mid-week winter treat it all was.

8 ounces fresh spaghetti or linguine
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
~1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
large garlic clove, peeled, cored and pressed
jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, sliced into half rounds
finely grated lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
8 ounces cooked, shelled Dungeness crab
small handful of fresh mint leaves, gently torn

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Remove pasta from water with tongs or Chinese hand held colander and drain. Reserve pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter with ~1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and stir until just soft, ~3–4 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, ~1 minute.

Add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons pasta cooking liquid to shallot mixture; add a pinch of pepper. Stir until liquid is almost evaporated, about 1 minute.

Transfer pasta to skillet and add 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, tossing pasta or stirring with tongs, until liquid is almost evaporated and pasta becomes glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoon butter, 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, crab, salt and pepper to taste and half of the mint.

Stir pasta until butter melts and pasta is well coated, adding more pasta cooking liquid if dry. Divide between bowls; top with remaining lemon zest and mint.

This pasta dish was really delicious. It was also very quick and easy. It felt like a special dinner with the yummy wine from Vina Robles Viognier 2010 Paso Robles Huerhuero Estate. Mike really enjoyed this too-he was very quiet. So if you don't live in Northern CA grab some king crab or jumbo lump crabmeat and make it special. Enjoy!

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