I am writing this post sitting in front of a roaring fire in my family room with a lighted Christmas tree in view. I am still full from the riches of Thanksgiving, yet Christmas is just three weeks away so it is time to plan holiday meals and baking schedules. I have mentioned in previous posts that we have fish for Christmas Eve in keeping with the Italian-American tradition. Crab is always on the menu. Many families have seven fish dishes on the Eve. Sometimes it is difficult to orchestrate the required number of dishes with space and time constraints. If you are looking for an easy, light, and delicious fish dish for the holidays, this may be something to try. It is basically pasta with garlic and oil to which fresh crab is added. The crab falls apart as it is cooking in the oil, so each bite contains a bit of light crab flavor. It is one of my favorite seafood dishes. I use Alaskan snow crab for this recipe. We take it out of the shell ourselves but you can use shelled crab meat if you don’t have the time or access to fresh crab.
Pasta with Crab
1-1/2 lbs. fresh snow crab (roughly 4 crab clusters to yield 2 to 2-1/2 c. crabmeat)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. white wine
zest and juice of half a large lemon
1/4 tsp. dried Greek oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 lb. spaghettini
Begin by bringing a 6-quart pot full of water to a boil. Add salt to taste then add pasta and cook the spaghettini until al dente. It takes about 6 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, in a sauté pan heat olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot add garlic and cook for 1 minute to soften but not brown. Add crab and stir for a minute to coat with oil. Add white wine, the lemon zest and juice, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and half of the chopped parsley. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and the crab breaks apart. Add cooked spaghettini to the sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the crab sauce. Transfer pasta to a serving dish and garnish with remaining chopped parsley. Serves 4.