Fresh Crab and Herb Pasta

Rather than fighting the crowds for Vday, we decided to make a 'fancy' meal at home. Since we pretty much never cook with crab, we thought this would be a good one to try. We originally found the recipe in our Gourmet cookbook, but based on lots of recommendations on the online version, we made quite a bit of changes. It ended up being delicious! It tastes very light (despite the butter), fresh and still filling. We served it with a salad and some homemade onion oregano bread and it sure beat eating out. =)

Don't forget to save 3 tbsp of the pasta water like I did (and pretty much always do). We ended up throwing in a bit of extra vermouth and butter to make up for it.

Prep/cook: 30 mins
Serves 4


  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 finely chopped medium shallot (about ½ cup)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb dried egg pappardelle (or other pasta of choice)
  • Freshly cracked pepper
Optional to top:
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Boil vermouth, vinegar, and shallot in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon, about 3 minutes. *as you do this, start pasta (step #5)
  2. Add a few tablespoons butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter 1 piece at a time, whisking constantly and adding each new piece before previous one has completely melted, lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture. Stir in olive oil. 
  3. Reduce heat to low, then add crabmeat and cook, stirring occasionally, until just heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in herbs, zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 3 tablespoons of pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta.
  6. Toss pasta with crab sauce and reserved cooking water in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper.


Unknown said...

that looks delicious!! great way to spend v-day, me thinks :)

grace said...

who knew crab could be so romantic? great dish, folks. :)

Leslie said...

Ohhhh, I haven't had a good pasta with crab in FOR EVER!!!! This sounds amazing!

Hornsfan said...

that's beautiful, i think it must've been a perfect v-day dish!

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