So says w, who is most particular about all things Cancridae. All I know is every time we make this pasta, it is freakishly delicious. It has been a holiday tradition on Christmas Eve for the last couple of years. Due to various obstacles this year we didn't get to it until a week ago. Absolutely better late than never with this. We use the finest of crabs to be had anywhere, the Dungeness crabs which are in abundance right now (and cheap: $3.50 a pound for live ones at ABC Seafood). All of you who might postulate that the blue crab is better, or whatever crab you're into that isn't Dungeness, zip it! It's binomial name isn't Cancer magister, or "Master crab" for nothing, okay?
So I get home from work the other day, w has already given the crabs their last bath and is happily shelling. With the hard part out of the way, I was only too happy to do the rest. The rest being almost doing nothing. Chop some radicchio and onion, slice some garlic, do some boiling, some tossing, serve it, eat it, experience bliss. That's it. And it's good! Oh, pop a bottle of dry chenin blanc from the Loire Valley or an Austrian gruner-veltliner to have the full experience!
I've blogged about this before, so it may look familiar. But with so many new readers every month, this will probably get a once a year mention. It deserves it!
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Linguine with Crab, Radicchio, and Garlic
adapted from Tyler Florence/Food Network
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
1 pound fresh crab meat
1/2 head radicchio, shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
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, and scallion and toss until radicchio is wilted, about 1 minute. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the top. Pour into a warm serving bowl and serve.