Last night I spotted this giant lump crab meat at the market and without thinking snatched it up. Instinctively I thought about crab cakes but really didn’t want something so breaded and fried for dinner. It’s summer and it’s hot, so I wanted something a little refreshing but substantial.
I decided to buy fresh, short pasta to match the size of the crab chunks so my dish would be easiest to eat. As Marcella Hazan once said in quoting someone else who I can not remember (it’s in her book, Amarcord), “The pasta and sauce should fit as well as a man and his suit.” Or something like that. I can’t remember the exact line, but I remember its meaning, which is to say that the type of sauce should marry well with the type of pasta. A thin sauce goes well with a long, spaghetti type pasta whereas something chunky needs smaller shells or tubes to match the saucy pieces. As you twirl your spaghetti on your fork, you want your sauce to cling to the long strands, and if scooping up pieces of meat or chopped eggplant, the shorter tubes or curls will hang on for the ride.
This is my long winded way of saying I chose a short, fresh pasta to make with my lump crab. To keep it somewhat light, I sauteed minced garlic and shallots in EVOO and a little butter for flavor, added lemon zest and red chili pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of chicken broth and let it simmer for a few minutes while I separately cooked the pasta until al dente. I tossed it and the crab meat all together with a little salt and black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and grated Pecorino cheese. It was so good and even better for lunch the next day! Done in 15 minutes or less too.
Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.
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