Saturday, January 1, 2022

Crab Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce

Alaskan King Crab is the meal Becky and I always eat to usher in the New Year. I like to heat the crab legs in the smoker, but it was below zero in Minnesota last night so I just broiled them in the oven. I always cook more than we can eat on New Year's Eve, so I decided to look for some recipes where I could put leftover crab to use.

I actually stumbled into this recipe. I was reading a review on Costco's lobster ravioli and the author was lamenting that there wasn't much lobster in their product. So to make it more seafood forward, he created a crab cream sauce to serve with the ravioli. But after reading the recipe, I did a quick exit, stage right. I could see that the sauce was going to be incredibly runny and he called for using imitation crab legs (oh, the horror).

So I started searching for a legitimate crab and cream sauce recipe and was fortunate to find my way to one created by Molly Meehan. Like me, she's just a home cook but in love with the hobby and I could tell in an instant she had created a superb recipe. So I'm going to share it with you today. It's good enough that you could use it as a meal for special guests....but it will still work if you just want to make the sauce to compensate for Costco's lack of lobster in their lobster ravioli.

1 pound of linguine
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pound of shredded Alaskan king crab or jumbo lump crab
Salt and pepper to taste 
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan cheese
Lemon slices for garnish

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and follow package directions to cook al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. While pasta is cooking, add cream and garlic to a large skillet set over medium heat. Stir in lemon zest and juice and heat the cream until the edges just start to bubble. Season cream with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Keep cream warm until pasta is done.
  3. Add cooked pasta to cream sauce and toss with tongs to combine. Add a few splashes of pasta water to help form a creamy sauce.
  4. Keep tossing and stirring until sauce thickens and coats noodles well (about 3 minutes). If sauce is not thick enough, keep stirring and increase heat just slightly to help extra moisture evaporate.
  5. Stir in crab and remove pan from heat. Toss to combine crab and warm it through. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve pasta immediately, garnished with parmesan cheese and lemon slices.

Wine pairing: A big, oaky Chardonnay

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