Snow Crab Pasta

Snow crab season is here in Newfoundland and we can’t be more excited about it. Fresh and subtle in flavour, crab is our favourite seafood by far. For us, it’s important to keep things simple to avoid overpowering the delicate flavour. Our favourite way to enjoy crab when in season? A simple Snow Crab Pasta.

We made our own pasta for this because homemade pasta is beyond good. We have a recipe so you can try it out, but feel free to purchase fresh pasta in store to save time (and money if you don’t currently own a pasta maker). Because if we’re being honest, shelling crab is a lengthy process. Basically the only downfall of crab. Somehow I managed to get away with not having to clean any of the crab. Mom and Katherine took care of it all! Maybe I was working? Oh well, who cares (Katherine probably does – lol)!

Inspiration for this recipe comes from a trip to Raymond’s restaurant a few years back. Katherine, mom, a family friend and I decided to splurge on a meal, and we had been dying to try Raymond’s for a while at that point. We all ordered the tasting menu, and one of the dishes was a very simple crab pasta, but it was the best part of the whole meal. I wanted a full plate of it. Needless to say, we had to recreate the dish at home. This is our version, we hope you give it a try, it is SO good. It’s also really easy, just a simple butter lemon sauce, some garlic bread crumbs, and fresh crab and pasta. I’m making myself hungry. Lucky for us, we cleaned more crab than necessary and froze the remaining. I’m predicting crab pasta in my near future.

A note about pasta making: It’s really simple, but you do need a pasta machine. I was always scared to try making pasta at home. I don’t know why, but the thought of it intimidated me. Turns out it’s very straight forward. Mix egg and flour together, knead it until it has a smooth texture when you rub your finger over it, then pass it through the machine. It’s a little bit of a process, but really easy. The kneading is admittedly hard on the wrists, but I’ve always had weak hands lol. You can make the dough in a kitchen aid mixer, but my cooking class teacher in Italy said you should always finish kneading it by hand (meaning you can start in the mixer). This way you’ll know if the dough is too dry or too wet and when it has the correct consistency. This is a great video to show you how to make the dough and how to knead it.

After kneading the dough, you want to let it rest for a bit, so wrap it in saran wrap. This will make it easier to roll out.
Divide the dough into 4 equal sections. Wrap the remaining three, as you work on one.
Pass the dough through your rollers on the largest spacing.
After one pass through, fold up the narrower side of the dough to give a more rectangular shape. Pass this through the rollers on the largest setting again, with the folded side going into the rollers first. Your dough will never be perfectly rectangular, so don’t stress over it.
Continue passing the dough through the rollers, decreasing the width after each pass through, until your dough is around 2 mm thick. You won’t go to the smallest setting, this will be too thin.
Once you have it at the desired thickness, drag the strip of pasta dough in some semolina flour to coat both sides. Then pass it through the rollers that cut the pasta into strips. We prefer the smaller, angel hair sized pasta. Hang the pasta to dry on a rack or twirl the pasta into some more semolina flour and it’s ready to use. P.S. if the noodles above look a little sticky, they are, my dough was too wet! If you find the dough sticking at all, or that it pulls a bit when passing it through the rollers, just knead some more flour into the dough, then start rolling again. If you aren’t going to be cooking the pasta right away, it is better to hang them to dry on a wooden rack for a bit.

Snow Crab Pasta

A delicious, and fresh pasta dish that highlights a North Atlantic treat: the snow crab.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 large servings or 4 small servings

Ingredients

  • Meat from 2 snow crabs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup parmigiana reggiano cheese, grated finely
  • parsley, to garnish
  • 2 servings fresh pasta (recipe below)

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy pot, bring 4 liters of water to a boil (more water is better than less). Heavily salt the boiling water, then add the pasta to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente. If using store bought, follow package instructions for cooking. Strain and add pasta to a large bowl.  Do not rinse the pasta!!

  2. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat and add the bread crumbs and garlic.  Cook until the bread crumbs begin to brown, then remove from heat.

  3. Heat a separate pan over medium low heat and melt the butter. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest.  Add the butter lemon sauce to the cooked pasta, along with parmigiana reggiano cheese and toss to combine.  Divide mixture between 2 large plates or 4 smaller plates.  Top with crab meat, bread crumbs and chopped fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

 

Fresh Egg Pasta

A fresh egg pasta recipe I learned in Italy. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g type "00" flour or all purpose flour
  • semolina flour, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Create a mound of flour in a bowl or on a flat surface.  In the center of the flour, create a well.  Add your eggs to the center of the well.  Using a fork, whisk the eggs together and slowly begin to bring in flour from the walls of the well.  Once the dough becomes too thick to stir with the fork, begin using your hands to add the remaining flour until you have a ball of dough.  

  2. Place the ball of dough on a clean surface and wash your hands clean of any dry bits of dough. Begin to knead the dough by placing one hand on the dough closest to you, and using the palm of your other hand, push the dough on the surface away from you. This is stretching the dough. It is okay if the dough tears a little bit when you do this.  Roll the farthest bit of dough back towards yourself, and repeat the process.  Rotate the dough 90 degrees after every second stretch.  Knead until the dough has a smooth touch when you run your finger over the surface, around 4-5 minutes.  It should be smooth and pliable.  If the dough seems too dry, knead in a sprinkling of water, and if it is too wet, add a bit of flour.  You will get a feel for how the dough should be with practice. 

  3. Cover the dough with a bowl or wrap in saran wrap, and let rest for 4-5 minutes.  This will "relax" the dough and make it easier to work with.

  4. Divide the dough into four segments.  Cover remaining dough until you are ready to use it (prevents it drying out).  Flatten one segment of dough with the palm of your hand and pass it through your pasta machine at the widest setting.  If one side of the dough is narrower then the other, fold that part of dough half way up, then pass the dough through the rollers on the same width, folded side going first.  Continue doing this until you are happy with the shape of the dough (it will never be perfect), then start decreasing the space between the rollers, one step at a time.  You want the dough to be a thickness of 1.5mm for tagliatelle/fettuccine and 2mm for spaghetti.  We went with 1.5mm for angel hair sized pasta.

  5. Once at the desired thickness, sprinkle some semolina flour on a clean surface and swipe both sides of the dough onto the flour.  This will help the pasta from sticking to each other when it cooks.  Next, cut the dough into strips by hand, or using a pasta roller. Catch the pasta with your hand as it passes through the roller so it doesn't fold onto itself.  Hang to dry or if using fairly soon, twist the noodles into a mound in some more semolina flour.

  6. To cook, bring 4 liters of water to boil in a large pot.  Heavily salt the water, then add your pasta and cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain, but never rinse your pasta, the starch is what helps the sauces stick to the pasta!

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