I've had serious crustacean lust lately...I can't get enough late-season Dungeness crab. My latest creation was one of the eating highlights of my week, so thought I'd share and post a photo.
Farfalle w/ Dungeness crab, English peas, lemon & saffron. In this case, the sum was greater than its parts, and the parts were pretty excellent to begin with. Live crab from the docks, sweet and perky peas from the farmer's market, lemons from my in-laws' tree, aromatic Spanish saffron. The flavors were sumptuous and elegant, and the golden hue imparted from the saffron made for a misty romantic presentation.
I must go on the record and admit that I've always scoffed at farfalle or "bowtie" pasta, as some people call it. It seems cutesy more than the best vehicle for sauce, and I find eating that shape awkward more than anything.
That said, when I was at the market contemplating which shape to get for this particular sauce, I was drawn to the farfalle. It seemed so perfect for these condiments. And it worked beautifully. The sauce lightly clung to its folds, and the peas, saffron, and lemon zest were cradled. And it looked so "spring". No more farfalle-bashing for me.
Here's a general description of my method: Boil water and cook pasta. In meantime, on low-med heat, saute some finely diced shallots or yellow onion in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Add some finely chopped scallions and saute. Now add the zest of one lemon and a pinch of saffron and saute til fragrant. Add some dry white wine and burn off alcohol.
Mix in lump crabmeat and shelled English peas. Season w/ S&P. Keep on low heat and gently stir to combine. Add heavy cream to desired consistency. Gently simmer til peas are cooked through and flavors have melded. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning...add lemon juice if more acid is needed to balance sweetness.
A min. before pasta is done, transfer to pan w/ sauce. Add some cooking liquid if necessary. Cook for a min w/ sauce. Add plenty of freshly-cracked black pepper at table. ENJOY!
And no, I'm not going to change my name to crab lover. Crabs are seasonal...carbs are year-round!! :-D