Thursday, August 4, 2011

Capellini d'Angelo al Limone ed il Granchio (Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Crab)

I really love pasta with a lemon sauce.  For me, it is a quintessential summertime dish.  I have made this dish several times, usually making a lemon cream sauce.  I have never really been pleased with any of those sauces.  The cream seems to weigh down what should otherwise be a light, citrusy sauce.   Undeterred, I have continued to work on this sauce, both conceptually and in practice.  I recently came across a couple of recipes for pasta with lemon sauce.  Neither sauce included cream as an ingredient.  A plain, simple lemon sauce.  Perfect.

The sauce is simple -- olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper -- and, as they often say, simple is best.  The best pairing with this sauce is a light pasta.  Two such pastas come to mind, vermicelli and angel hair pasta.  The latter is also known as capellini or capellini d'angelo.  Capellini are thin strands of pasta that work well with this sauce.  The lemon sauce coasts the pasta, providing a fresh flavors with each bite.

In designing this dish, I also did another classic pairing of ingredients ... the lemon sauce and lump blue crab.  There are dozens of recipes that combine these two ingredients.   The combination of the light pasta, light sauce and blue crab resulted in a very delicious dish.  I will definitely be making it again.

Adapted from
Serves 2-3

1/2 box of angel hair pasta
2 lemons, juiced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 pound of lump crab meat

1.  Cook the pasta.   Heat a pot of water on high until it boils.  Add the pasta. Cook until al dente, about five minutes.

2.  Prepare the sauce.  While the pasta is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic.  Saute for one minute and add the lemon juice and oil.  Add the crab, crushed red pepper and parsley.  Stir and let the sauce cook down a little.  

3.   Plate the dish.   Drain the pasta and add the pasta to the saucepan. Mix the pasta with the sauce well, making sure that the noodles are covered with the lemon sauce.  Plate some of the pasta and crab in bowls and garnish with some extra chopped flat leaf parsley. 


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