|A nice light pasta dish made with fresh crab, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, butter and olive oil. Great with other proteins or even all on its own too!|
Angel Hair Pasta With CrabThis is truly one of my most favorite pasta dishes, if not the most favorite. It is so fresh and light and for the pasta and seafood lover, so satisfying.
Many, many years ago, I once had a dish similar to this at Alberti's Italian Restaurant when it was in Biloxi - in the old Goofy Golf building with the landmark gorilla out front. The dish was so delicious that I set out to immediately recreate it!
Alberti's relocated to Ocean Springs after Hurricane Katrina, gorilla and all, but has since shut down for good. Frankly, I don't even know if they ever had this pasta on their menu. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it was really a menu item back then, but on that particular day, I happened to be with friends who were regulars of Alberti's, and I think this was something that the owner, Mama Yvonne, had Mr. Moe whip up when I mentioned I was in the mood for "something light with crab."
This recipe feeds The Cajun and me with leftovers. Serve with some hot, buttered french bread or rolls and a side garden salad and you'll probably feed 4 adults easy. You could also double up on just the pasta and increase the crab to as much as a full pound for more than 4 people. Really you can use as little or as much crab as you want! I just love the combination of the buttery garlic flavor with the crab, but if you want to reduce fat and calories, just use the olive oil alone. Yes, it's still a fat, but it's a heart healthy fat, a cancer inhibitor and rich in Vitamin E. Make sure you are using a first pressed extra virgin olive oil because this dish deserves that!
I also prefer to use fresh, lump crabmeat from the seafood market when I make this, but even here where crabs are plentiful, that stuff can be pretty high dollar... even for us! Hey, if you think that's expensive, sit down some time and pick a pound's worth of crabmeat! You'll totally know it's worth every single penny.
Fortunately, my in-laws, who have the shrimp boat, also set out crab traps and I am sometimes the lucky recipient of freshly picked crabmeat from my mother-in-law. Gotta love that! Grocery stores sell 6 ounce fresh pouches of crab, usually located in the seafood section, that work just fine for this dish and are pretty reasonable, or you could substitute a quality canned crabmeat if that's all you have access to.
You can substitute well drained, canned diced tomatoes in a pinch when tomatoes are out of season, but definitely use fresh Roma tomatoes in this dish when they are available or even those you have put up yourself. You could also substitute shrimp instead, or even crawfish or oysters, though for this recipe I always have used crab.
If you love pasta and crab like I do, this is easy, quick and really is so totally yummy - give it a try. Here's how to make it.
For more of my favorite recipes using crab, visit my page on Pinterest!
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Recipe: Pasta With Crab©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep/Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 servings
- 1/2 pound of angel hair or thin spaghetti pasta
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 6 extra large Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped, retaining the juices (or equivalent canned*)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
- 1/2 pound to 1 pound, lump crab meat
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 of a fresh lemon
- Grated Parmesan, optional
Bring water to a boil for pasta, add lots of salt, and boil according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and set it aside.
Meanwhile heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the green onion, garlic, and chopped tomatoes to the skillet and sauté until soft. Stir in the basil, Old Bay, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and chicken broth (or wine); simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the pasta to sauce and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the crab and parsley to the pasta and just gently toss, enough to warm the crab through; squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top, and taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Add some of the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems too dry; turn out into a lovely pasta bowl. Garnish each serving with parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately with fresh hot bread and a side salad. About 3 to 4 servings when& served with sides.
*Cook's Note: This is a fresh pasta sauce, different from a spaghetti sauce. It's a fairly light sauce recipe, so if you prefer a heavier sauce to pasta ratio, you'll need to increase the sauce portion. Substitute with undrained canned diced tomatoes when fresh tomatoes are out of season. I like to use 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes and often use one that contains green chilies for a little extra kick. If you can't get fresh lump crab, try the freezer section, use the pouches, or use a quality canned product. Can also substitute cooked shrimp or other proteins, as well as make this as a stand alone pasta with fresh tomatoes.
Pasta with Crab and Parmesan Garlic Sauce: Prepare as above, except add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour to the butter and oil, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes before adding onion and garlic. Omit the tomatoes, increase chicken broth to 1 cup and add 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk, whisking in until thickened. Thin with reserved pasta water as needed before tossing with 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, pasta and crab. Garnish with additional cheese.
Tip: To easily pick out any shell, spread crab on a baking sheet in a single layer and use a blacklight flashlight. Alternatively, place tray in a 200 degree oven for 3 minutes. The shell will be visible and easier to pick out.
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