Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Getting Our Crab (pasta) On!

Like all couples, w and I have developed certain rituals. For our purposes here, and because you really don't neet too much information, I'll keep this post on one of our food related rituals. Not that you'd be interested in the others or anything, right??! I had meant to post this for the last several days, since it is all about Christmas Eve dinner at our place, but in the course of ingesting immoderate amounts of food and alcohol and other bits of social holiday cheer over the past several days, it didn't quite get from the "in my head" phase to the "on the page" phase. But now, with cranial clarity finally returning, and with we lucky souls here in the NW being in the heart of Dungeness crab season, this is actually the perfect time for this particular sharing moment.

You probably read a few posts ago about my deep and abiding love for Dungeness crab and all its sweetly satisfying pleasure that lies within its prettily pinkish carapace. Not to mention that smugness I feel at buying said goodness for about $5 a pound. Plus eating crab right out of the shell is one of those primal food pleasures that is really without equal. But for those of you who like me crave diversity in your crabbish comestibles, then this pasta is guaranteed to wow you, your family, and any lucky friends who get invited to partake. The sweet crab is perfectly set off by the faintly bitter radicchio, pungent garlic, and zesty lemon. So quick, so EASY, and insanely good!!

Linguine with Crab, Radicchio, and Garlic
serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound linguine
3/4 to 1 pound fresh crab meat (from 2 whole crabs)
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 head radicchio, shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Bring 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the shallots, garlic, and chiles and saute until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, then add the butter, and remove from heat. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until just al dente, and drain.

Add the drained pasta to the pan with the wine mixture and return pan to heat. Add crab, radicchio, lemon zest, and scallion and toss until radicchio is wilted, about 1 minute. Pour into a warm serving bowl and serve.

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Yield: 4 servings

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