This is the closest I can get to a culinary heirloom. Growing up it was just me and my Dad And this is his signature dish. It pretty much sums up his palate, a Baltimorean with a serious love of Italian food. If you ask him it's just crab, pasta, garlic, wine and olive oil. But every time I tried that it didn't taste as subtle as I recalled. So I've added more butter than my Dad would allow and a touch of cream and few other minor tweaks and it now tastes like what I remember. And I'm glad to have finally figured it out. —Summer of Eggplant
Lump or Jumbo Lump Crab
wide pasta such as fettuccine or tagliatelle
dry white wine - I use Spanish whites Albarino or Verdejo
unsalted butter - divided
olive oil - divided
shallots - chopped
parmesan - grated
salt + pepper
crushed red pepper
parsley - chopped
In This Recipe
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and shallots and salt and pepper. They do not want to take on color so if they start to char add a little of the wine so they steam a little. When the leeks and shallots begin to become translucent, about 3-5 minutes, add in 1/2 of the wine and reduce.
Boil heavily salted water for the pasta. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes or as directed on the box for al dente.
Once the wine has reduced by half add in crab and saute, salt again to taste as needed. Once the crab has been heated, again about 3-5 minutes add in remaining wine, butter and red pepper, cook for another 3 minutes. Add in cream, heat to warm.
Drain pasta and toss with remaining olive oil. To serve family style layer the pasta, crab sauce, parmesan and parsley in a wide bowl. Squeeze lemon juice on top and lightly toss.