Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pasta with crab

It's been a while, I confess I've been very busy with the faéily. Had to choose between cooking for them or writing about cooking... But I'm back!
It's late summer now, here in the Alps I can feel autumn in the wind. So I'm cooking in between seasons foods. Which basically means going back to hot dishes instead of cold ones but still employing all the herbs & other goodies fresh from the garden.
Today's Sunday lunch was an example of this. We still eat outside every lunch time, but dinner is not a given, as the wind comes up or the rain comes down.
Last Thurs. there was a special at the supermarket on live crabs. Obviously, we couldn't pass this up. With the exception of my youngest, we all go mad for crab! So we picked them out, with enthusiastic participation of the verry child who refuses to eat them, then went back home in gleeful anticipation (ignoring the scuffling noises from the grocery bag) of a Sunday lunch.
Yes, Sunday, not the day after buying the crabs. Quandry: when to cook them? I consulted the helpful but slightly freaked out lady who sold me the crabs (clearly, alive & kicking seafood was too much, especially since she told us a few of the crabs had made a run for it) who insisted they must be cooked the next day.
So the next day I consulted a fellow foodie, crab expert in my mind, as she is the one who gave me the original crab pasta recipe. The big question was how to kill them with maximum of flavor and minimum guilt. Her suggestion was to freeze them for 30 min then toss the in boiling water for 20 min. This I could do. And did. With minimum discomfort to my conscience ( they slept thru it, I swear!). As always, the real nightmare was cleaning them: that made me swear off fresh crab for ever! Afterwards, I froze the meat until Sunday morning.
Anyway, the following is the pasta sauce recipe, using the precooked crab:
TIP: the crab sauce can be made ahead of time, it allows the flavors to settle.
NEVER serve with parmesan! DOES NOT go with seafood!

3 crabs
1 celery stick
2 shallots
3 mild chilis (optional)
olive oil
white wine
salt & pepper
(I grow all the herbs and chilis myself in pots)

Sauté the celery, onions & chilis in olive oil.
When onions are translucent, add the precooked crab. Stir well, sprinkle with paprika then add the white wine.
After mixing in the pasta ( I do this directly in the pan), sprinkle liberally with fresh basil, chives & parsely.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, I emailed you at your Yahoo account and haven't heard back, so wondering if you still use it. I canceled my Facebook account so can't reach you there. Would love to be back in touch, am still at Wesleyan. Miss you, Karen A., your Chicago friend