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Spaghettini with Crab and Spicy Lemon Sauce

Spaghettini with Crab and Spicy Lemon Sauce

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  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely chopped fresh parsley plus whole sprigs for garnish
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, sliced crosswise (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in large skillet over medium heat. Mix in next 4 ingredients.

  • Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta, 1/4 cup cooking liquid, chopped parsley, and crabmeat to skillet. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to large platter. Top with prosciutto, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley sprigs.

Recipe by Brian Hill of Francine in Camden ME,Reviews Section

Spaghettini with Crab and Spicy Lemon Sauce - Recipes

There are around 5,000 different species of crab, which can be found all over the world. 4,500 of these species are said to be “true” crabs, while the other 500 are made up of different species of hermit crabs.The majority of crabs live in the water, however, there are a small number of crabs that live on land and breathe air.

The majority of the crab population can be found in the waters around China, followed by the U.S. and Japan. While most crabs are found in the Asian seas, the U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of crabs. Crab dishes are very popular in Japan, France, Spain, Hong Kong, the U.S., Canada and Portugal.

Crabs and crustaceans were considered a delicacy in ancient Rome. In particular, Apicius, a well known “foodie” of the time, described how to cook crustaceans in his book, De Re Coquinaria, and it seems that he was a real fan. Legend has it that when he learned that there were extremely large lobsters living along the coast of Libya, he hired a boat and sailed there just to try them. Once he arrived and discovered that the local lobsters were almost identical to those found in Rome, he turned around and came back to Italy without even debarking.

Although there are many different types of crab and each offer their own distinctive taste and texture, all crabmeat is essentially sweet. The many crab species fished from North America’s coastal waters vary greatly in size, appearance, taste and texture and lend themselves to an immense array of dishes. There are six varieties that are used the most and are commercially available, either live, cooked, frozen or in lump form (that is, picked from the shell and packaged).

If you are planning on cooking the crab at home and eating it straight from the shell, it is best to buy live crabs for better taste. Frozen crabs can also be bought. Buy your crabs from a well-known and reputable fish market or, as a second choice, from a large supermarket. If you are buying from the latter, make sure to find out how long the crabs have been in the tank. If it is longer than a week, they should really be avoided.

When I was young, my family and I would spend our summers at the shore. One of the activities involved crabbing in the bay near our house. My father would take me to the dock very early in the morning. It was a simple affair: string, bait and a basket. My father would attach the bait to the string, drop the bait end into the water and tie the other end to the dock. My job was to check the strings every once in awhile to see if we caught a crab. If we did, we would pull up the string and place the crab in a covered basket. Believe or not, we caught many crabs this way, more than enough for dinner. My father would be very happy and always bragged about the crab catch. He loved to make spaghetti sauce with crabs cooked in the sauce. I was not a fan and didn’t eat crab then. Times have changed.

If you are buying live crabs, it is best to consume them when they are as fresh as possible, preferably on the same day, although they will keep overnight in the refrigerator. Put the live crabs in a bowl or a container where they can still breathe and cover them with damp paper towels or a damp cloth. Place them in a cold area of your refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

Boiling live crab

Pour 5 quarts of water into a large pot and add 5 tablespoons of sea salt. Bring to a rapid boil.

Grasp the live crab by the back legs and drop it into the water headfirst. Bring the water back to the boil and only then start timing.

You should cook large crabs (about 2 lb.) for around 15-20 minutes and smaller crabs around 8 – 10 minutes.

The crab’s shell should turn a bright orange when done.

When the crabs are done, immerse them for a few seconds in cold water, so that cooking stops and they do not overcook.

Defrosting a whole crab

If you have decided to purchase pre-cooked frozen crab, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight in order to defrost.

If you need to defrost the crab quickly, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a sink full of cold water. Do not use hot water. A two pound crab will defrost in one hour.

Storing cooked crab meat

Freshly cooked crab meat is best eaten on the same day, however, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. The cooked meat should be removed from the shell beforehand.

Cooked crab meat can be frozen and will keep for four months. Make sure that it is tightly wrapped or placed in an airtight container before freezing.

Some of the more common types of crab are described below.

Alaskan King Crab are the largest and most sought after crab in the world due to its size, which can reach up to 25 pounds and measure up to 10 feet. It may be large, but only about one-fourth is edible, primarily the legs and claws. Only males are harvested. The delicately-flavored meat is snowy white with a bright red outer edge. Their preferred habitat is in the coldest waters in the world. King Crab is caught chiefly by commercial fisherman in various areas in the Pacific Ocean near Alaska: Bristol Bay, Norton Sound, St. Matthew Island, Pribilof Island and the Kodiak Islands.

Alaskan Snow Crab are the type of crab you mainly find in a seafood restaurant. There are four species of Snow Crab and two species are found in Alaskan waters. Alaskan Snow Crab are mainly caught by commercial fishermen in the Bering Sea waters and the Chukchi Sea. Many of the same crabs are also found in Japan. Their habitat is in very cold waters. Snow Crab grow by molting when they shed their exterior. Then they grow tissue to fill each new, larger exo-skeleton. They molt several times per year when they are young but only once per year when they get larger and mature. The average snow crab weighs between 2 and 4 pounds.

The Blue Crab habitat is mainly around the Chesapeake Bay area on the Atlantic coast, areas in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas as far south as the Bahamas. This species of crab has blue highlights and their shells are extremely sharp. Blue crabs can also be eaten in it’s soft shell stage. To eat these crab in the soft shell stage, they have to caught, processed and cooked before they molt to their hard shell state.

Dungeness Crab is a type of crab that inhabits grass beds and water bottoms all the way from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down through the Pacific Ocean waters of California and even into parts of the Gulf of Mexico. They are named after Dungeness, Washington, which is located near Port Angeles, WA, in the Puget Sound area. This area is where Captain George Vancouver explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca, along the northern area of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula in the late eighteenth century. Dungeness Crab is considered a characteristic food of the Great Pacific Northwest.

Stone Crabs have large, very hard claws that are prized for their meat. Most of the harvest comes from Florida, where it is harvested from October 15 to May 15. Only the claws are eaten, so fishermen twist off one claw from each stone crab and toss them back to grow a new one. Crabs will regenerate new claws within 18 months. The law requires the claws of just caught stone crabs be boiled for 7 minutes and then either put on ice or frozen. The freezing process seems to remove an unpleasant iodine taste which is often noticed in the meat. To serve, the claws are cracked with a mallet and served cold with dipping sauces. Minimum size for claws is 2 to 2.75 ounces. The meat has a firm texture and a sweet flavor.

Red Rock Crabs and their cousins, the Jonah Crab, are light to dark brownish red, depending on where they are caught. The further north they are fished, the darker the shells get. Red Rock crabs are found along the Atlantic coast all the way from Nova Scotia to the shores of Florida. Neither are sold in upscale fish stores or in the major supermarkets, but you may be able to find them in Spanish or Chinese markets.

Freshwater Crabs : There are many species that live in freshwater- especially in the streams and billabongs of Australia- but also on every other continent.The Southern European Crab, pictured above, has been eaten by people since Roman Times. Unfortunately, freshwater crabs are threatened by human activities more than most groups of animals and many species are in danger of becoming extinct.

The four basic types of shelled meat that you can buy and their uses follow:

Jumbo Lump or Lump Crab Meat

Jumbo Lump meat comes from the pair of large muscles that drive the crab’s swimming legs. With care and skill these lumps can be removed intact, resulting in the prized whole Jumbo Lump with its incomparable visual appeal. Grades identified simply as lump are from smaller crab varieties.

Use Jumbo Lump when you want to display beautiful white meat in:

Crab cocktails

Solid-meat crab cakes

Crab Louis – lumps of crab meat and hard boiled eggs on Boston lettuce, with Russian dressing.

Crab Imperial – a baked dish combining crab with mayonnaise or a sherried white sauce, spooned into scallop shells, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or bread crumbs and browned.

Lump or Backfin Lump Crab Meat

Lump or Backfin is the preferred grade for many traditional crab dishes. It has the same fine flavor and texture of Jumbo Lump, but is in slightly smaller pieces. Some companies call this grade Lump, some Backfin and some Backfin Lump. If you purchase a can labeled Lump, it will be all lump meat and will not contain any Jumbo Lump.

Use Lump or Backfin when you want beautiful white crab but don’t want the expense of Jumbo Lump, for example:

Crab Benedict (Eggs Benedict with crab instead of ham)

Gazpacho: add a 1/2 cup of crab to the center of the soup

Pasta: add to Spaghetti Carbonara instead of bacon or add a cup to Fettuccini all’Amatriciana

White Crab Meat

White crab meat is ideal for crab cake recipes that have multiple ingredients (bread crumbs, vegetables) that are mixed with mayonnaise and in crab recipes where the size and shape of the crab flake becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the ingredients.

White crab meat is a more economical alternative for:

Bisques and chowders

Sandwiches and salads

Stuffed tomatoes

Claw Crab Meat

Claw Crab meat is the “dark meat” of the crab. The reddish-brown claw and leg meat is actually more flavorful than the white meat and is preferred by many who like the more robust flavor and appreciate the lower price. Claw meat also stands up to bolder seasonings. Some people mix it with Backfin Lump for visual appeal, while keeping the overall price down.

Try claw meat and, if you like the flavor, you may have an economical alternative and a reason to enjoy crab more often. You can use it in any preparation, but especially in

Cheese melts

Cioppino or other fish stews

Notes about this recipe

+ View Larger photo: John Kernick

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Spaghettini with Crab and Spicy Lemon Sauce - Recipes


Spicy Crab Pasta with Preserved Lemon

The combination of flavors here worked quite well and joined together in a unique way with the Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad shown below. The brininess of preserved lemons brings out the sweetness of the king crab you’ll find in each twirl of pasta.

· 1/2 lb spaghettini (thin spaghetti)

· 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

· 1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or Sriracha sauce

· 1/2 lb shelled cooked crabmeat, cut into 1-inch pieces (from about 1 1/4 lb thawed frozen king crab legs)

· 2 pieces preserved lemon (make recipe or use store-bought), pulp discarded and rind rinsed and finely chopped (1 tablespoon)

· 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

· 2 tablespoons salted butter

Cook spaghettini in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.

Meanwhile, cook onion in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Stir in sambal oelek and cook 1 minute, then add crabmeat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, just until crabmeat is heated through.

Drain pasta, then add to skillet along with remaining ingredients and toss to coat well.

Spicy crab spaghettini

cooked crabmeat (about 2 T)
1/2 small spanish onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small tomato, diced
fresh parsley, chopped (about 1 T)
1/4 t chili garlic sauce (or Sambal Oelek/Indonesian chili paste)
pinch of red pepper flakes
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 lb spaghettini noodles (or any cut of choice)

Now, this is my take on Spicy Crab Pasta. A relatively lighter and mildly spicy version. In fact, this is my favorite. It's a simple saute of onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, parsley with the addition of red pepper flakes and a small portion of chili garlic sauce for added flavor and interest. As with any other seafood dish, freshly squeezed lemon juice was added to balance out & brighten up the flavors of the dish. As for my pasta cut of choice for this light pasta dish, which is ideal for spring/summertime weather (perfect for any time of year, in my opinion), I thought spaghettini cut fits the bill.

Saute onion and garlic.
Add cooked crabmeat.
Add red pepper flakes (to your liking)
and then the chili garlic sauce,
lemon juice
+ a small amount of pasta cooking H20
diced tomatoes would come last as I prefer them not to be fully cooked in this recipe
Toss cooked spaghettini in sauce.
Add cheese if desired.

Good eatings!

Market Manila

Happy Mother’s Day! I know a lot of folks head out to eat on Mother’s Day, mostly to give mom a day off from some kitchen work, but we tend to stay IN on holidays such as this one since the malls, restaurants, etc. are jampacked and you are more likely to get a mediocre, overpriced and somewhat stressful meal instead of a calm and enjoyable one. Of course there are exceptions, but today is a great day to enjoy food at home, as long as “mom” doesn’t have to prepare it. So here was Mother’s Day lunch at our place…

One of my favorite food magazines has to be Gourmet, along with Saveur, Vogue Entertaining (Austalian edition), Delicious, etc. And in every issue of Gourmet, I find that there is something I would definitely like to cook and eat. It seems Gourmet has become much more “accessible”, with sophisticated recipes that CAN in fact be done by home cooks. Recipes also often appear to be far more global and sometimes, together with their wonderful photographs, really call out to me and I am inspired to try it within days of getting my subscription copy of the magazine.

in the May 2008 issue of Gourmet, there is a recipe for “Spicy Crab Spaghettini with Preserved Lemon” that sounded and looked really intriguing. The only problem was I didn’t have any preserved lemons and while I have always wanted to have some in stock for the tagine experiments we conduct at the beach, I never got around to buying or making preserved lemons. Thank goodness the magazine also provides a really easy recipe for preserved lemons so I made those first (recipe up soon in a separate post), then aged them for some 9-10 days before I made the pasta recipe for Mother’s Day.

The recipe was appropriately sophisticated and unusual, and despite taking less than 20 minutes to make (excluding time to steam and pick fresh crabs), it had a surprisingly complex and delicious impression on one’s taste buds. The only substitution I made to the original recipe was alimango meat for the specified frozen king crab legs. The recipe credit goes completely to Gourmet. To make, I purchased 1.5 kilos of alimango and steamed them for 12-14 minutes until cooked. After cooking for say 20 minutes, we picked out all of the crab meat, and take care not to include the sharp shells in the crab meat. The 1.5 kilos of crab was equal to roughly 600 grams of peeled crabmeat. When your pasta water has reached a boil, add a generous amount of salt and add about 3/4 pound of spaghettini or spaghetti. Heat up a stainless or cast iron pan, add 1/4 cup of good olive oil, and about 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onions and saute for about 2-3 minutes until soft. Add two teaspoons (I used 3) of sambal oelek (bottled Malay, Indonesian, Thai chili paste) and stir for a few seconds before adding the peeled crab meat and stir gently to heat through.

When the pasta is al dente or firm to the bite, drain it and add it to the crab mixture. Quickly add two tablespoons of salted butter, a little salt if necessary, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped flatleaf parsley. Also stir in finely chopped preserved lemon, about a tablespoon worth. The preserved lemon needs to be rinsed before chopping. Also, scrape off the pulp and only use the skin. Serve hot. This was superb! Thank you Gourmet, for another easy and delicious recipe!

Spaghettini with Crab and Spicy Lemon Sauce - Recipes

Crabmeat goes well with a lemon cream sauce, and the nuttiness of Kamut Pasta is the perfect foil. Serves 4.


  • 3/4 pound Monograno di Felicetti Kamut Fusilli,Linguini, or Martelli Spaghettini
  • 2 tablespoons Delitia Butter of Parma
  • 3 tablespoon Alce Nero Frantia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grated rind of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces crabmeat
  • 4-5 leaves fresh sage, slivered
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat parsley, chopped

Melt butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy saute pan. Sprinkle lemon zest over oil and cook for a minute. Add wine, lemon juice, and sage, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat, and slowly pour in cream, whisking it into the wine and lemon juice. Do not allow to boil. Add crabmeat and parsley, and stir to coat. Keep heat at a bare simmer or turn off heat for a few minutes.

Bring large pot of well-salted water to boil, and add pasta, cooking until just al dente according to package directions. Drain, and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Turn heat under crabmeat and cream sauce to a low simmer, and add pasta. Toss to combine, and cook over low heat until warmed, about 3-4 minutes.

This seafood recipe does not require cheese, but if desired serve 1/2-1 cup of Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP at the table.

Sauce adapted from Lidia Bastianich's "Lidia Cooks from The Heart of Italy"

Ingredients of Spaghettini Con Granchio

How to make Spaghettini Con Granchio

Step 1 / 3 Cook crabs with garlic and tomatoes to make pasta sauce

To start making this delicious pasta dish, first heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Once the oi is hot enough add tomatoes and garlic and cook for some time. Now add the crab meat and cook well.

Step 2 / 3 Bring the pasta to boil and add in sauce

Add pasta in boiling salt water and drain all excess water once done. Add the boiled pasta in the sauce prepared.

Step 3 / 3 Season the pasta and serve warm

Once done season with parsley, salt and pepper. Serve with the side of garlic bread.

15 Minute Garlic Shrimp in Lemon Butter Sauce

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Garlic shrimp in less than 15 minutes! These little guys are cooked with a light lemon butter sauce that’s just enough to drizzle on steamed veggies or a bit of rice! So easy and so delicious!

Hot Garlic Shrimp tiiiiiiiime!

As in hot and fresh but also as in a little kick in the rear with some much needed and loved, SPICE.

This is for my friends and fellow last minute dinner comrades who like me, sometimes end up scrambling on weeknights looking for a quick meal to get on the table with just a wittle bit of work but lots of flavor and a spicy, from-scratch, quick cooking, and semi-healthy-ish meal.

There are way too menu reasons to list why a simple recipe like garlic shrimp is a go to on weeknights, but still, i’ll say a few:

  • Sweet shrimp, spicy shrimp, garlic shrimp, buttery shrimp
  • freshy fresh parsley and soaked in lemon butter sauce, shrimp

Now all of that goodness served over a pile of steaming hot white or brown rice, or maybe you’re more of a pasta kinda guy/gal OR maybe you’re the kind of person we all strive hope to be and you prefer a a big healthful bowl of zoodles or protein-packed quinoa.

You might as well grab a pound of shrimp on your way home today.

Is there even such a thing as a real, authentic recipe for garlic butter shrimp?

I mean all I know is that i’m in love with anything lemony, buttery, and garlicky – check, check, and check!

And really this recipe is more like a quick 10-ish minute recipe because all you really need to do is chop some garlic, parsley, juice a lemon and that’s all folks. And even if you decide to be extra ambitious, you can boil a big vat of water, drop in a fistful of pasta and in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES you have got an ultra garlicky noodle type situation at the tip of your fork just begging for a little twirl action.

A couple of quick notes — whatever you do, please, oh please, use real lemon juice for this recipe. None of that juice in a squeeze bottle business. And I think i’m stating the obvious here when I say to use fresh garlic. After all, garlic is one of the main components. Also, after developing this garlic shrimp recipe and testing/retesting several times, I kept thinking to myself that something is definitely missing, so after a little research, I found a quick tip on all recipes suggesting the addition of a little caper brine. TBH I didn’t think that would make the amount of difference that it did. Seriously. WHAT. Why is the stuff that capers come packed in perfect for this recipe? Whatever the reason, it works.

Crab Fra Diavolo, A Simple Seafood Pasta To Make Tonight

Everyone needs a few go-to pasta recipes for an quick weeknight dinner or simple supper. A “back pocket pasta,” if you will. Food writer and Instagrammer Colu Henry has a new cookbook out packed with simple, inventive and classic pasta dishes, like this fresh, spicy crab fra diavolo. It’ll be on the table in 30 minutes, flat.

As boys, my uncles Michael and John often went crabbing in Barnegat Bay off the coast of New Jersey with their cousins. They’d bring back the day’s catch to my great-aunt Mary’s house, where she would make a marinara sauce, throw in the cleaned crabs, and then serve them straight from the pot with either pasta or bread. This recipe is inspired by their memories even with shelled crab for ease and hot pepper for kick, the sentiment is the same.

Crab Fra Diavolo, A Simple Seafood Pasta To Make Tonight

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 4


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can diced San Marzano tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound bucatini
  • 3/4 pound crabmeat, picked over for bits of shell (Dungeness, blue crab and jumbo lump crab all work well)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish


For the fra diavolo

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to low or medium-low heat and cook the sauce for 20 minutes. While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and return to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions.

About 3 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the crab and cook until just heated through. Scoop the pasta directly into the skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle the herbs over the pasta and toss again, adding ¼ cup of pasta water or more (up to 1 cup), as needed to loosen up the sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.