Last week we had Valentines Day dinner. Pretty same as any other dinner but I wanted to combine something the hubs loves (pasta) with something a bit more special (crab). I used pappardelle (pretty pasta ribbons) instead of our usual spaghetti or penne.
The tomato sauce below was tasty. But it also ended up stealing the crab's thunder a bit so I adjusted my seasonings for the recipe below.
Pappardelle with Crab and Tomato
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes
10 grinds of black pepper
1 bay leaf
28 oz can of diced tomato (unseasoned, I used Muir Glen)
~1 tsp or squirt of tomato paste
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
~1.5 cups of crab meat (~1.5 lbs of snow crab legs)
8-12 oz of papparedelle
In 2 tbps of olive oil, saute the diced onion and garlic with the red pepper flakes until soft. Add the can of diced tomato, bay leaf, tomato paste, and ground pepper. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Simmer uncovered for 60 minutes (or as long as you have / until the sauce is reduced to your liking).
Meanwhile, prepare the crab. If you use a container of picked crab meat, then you're good to go. If you're like me and used snow crab, then time to break shells and pick out the meat. When breaking the shell, try to keep it over the bowl to catch the juices (to add to the sauce laters) but be careful of any rogue shells. Save the shells and freeze them for a crab stock (to make a seafood bisque or something later). The snow crab I used was so yummy - very salty and very sea-y, haha.
When there's about 20 minutes left on your sauce, start the pot of boiling water to cook the pasta. Add salt to the water to flavor the pasta. I usually just do a tiny palmful. If the sauce is done first, just turn off the heat and leave the pot on the stove while the pasta finishes.
Drain the pasta reserving just a bit of the pasta water. Plate the pasta. Then add some of the pasta water to the tomato sauce. Scoop sauce over the pasta. Initially, I wanted to mix the crab in the sauce but I ended up leaving the crab on top because the sauce was pretty strong compared to the crab.
Have you cooked a seafood pasta before? How did you make sure the seafood wasn't lost in the sauce?