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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crab Pasta

The pasta crank arrived today, and with it the craving for a simple, soulful bowl of noodles. It being winter in Oregon, I thought immediately of Dungeness crab. It's easy (if a little time-consuming) to prepare, and with 20 percent of its body weight being meat, it presents one of the higher reward-to-work ratios among its arthropod peers.

I made just enough fresh spaghetti for two ample servings, adding a whole egg into the mix in order to give the pasta the richness to carry the sweet crab flavor. While the dough rested, allowing the flour to absorb more water and the gluten to develop, I cooked the crab. It took about ten minutes in simmering water followed by a quick dunk in ice water, and then a slow process of cracking and snipping of shell, and picking of tiny filaments of meat. By the end I had a respectable pile, plenty for two people.

For the sauce I kept it starkly straightforward: olive oil, minced garlic and chile flake, and a dab of butter. I turned the tomalley out from the shell into the pan and warmed it through, thickening it slightly, and then added the picked crab meat.

The pasta, rolled out and cut now, cooked in about 90 seconds, and from there it was a flip in the pan and a shot of roughly chopped parsley. A nice little meal, unless you want leftovers.

Oh yeah, we had Kumamoto oysters, too. Tiny and tasty, but I still miss that East Coast brine.

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