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Fresh Summer Tomato and Crab Pasta

Serves: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 3 medium)
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 12 ounces dry fettuccine
  • ¾ to 1 pound fresh crabmeat
  • 1¼ cups chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)


Procedures:

There’s a universal anticipation that builds for summer’s first sweet, juicy vine-ripe tomatoes in our local farmers’ markets, or, if you’re as lucky as we are, from our own garden. Use any combination of tomatoes here, including cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or heirlooms of different colors and varieties. If you’re only able to find standard large beefsteak tomatoes, peel them (see page 223) before using.
Italians usually don’t add cheese to seafood dishes, so this pasta remains light, allowing the flavor of the juicy tomatoes and sweet crab to shine through. I wouldn’t recommend canned crab in this dish, so if freshly cooked crab is not available, use bay shrimp instead. I prefer the delicate flavor of the pasta without red pepper flakes, although my husband Carl enjoys the hint of heat they provide.
  1. Drain the tomatoes in a medium sieve over a bowl for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Excess water from the tomatoes can dilute the flavor of the dish.)


  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes, until the oil is aromatic but the shallot and garlic not browned. Set aside.


  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the fettuccine and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until al dente.


  4. While the pasta is cooking, rewarm the oil mixture over medium heat. Add the crab, green onions, and thyme and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until the crab is heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  5. Drain the pasta well and return to the empty pot. Add the drained tomatoes, stir to mix, then add the crab mixture, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes and toss well. Serve in warmed pasta plates or shallow bowls.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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