(Vicki James)Yes, there’s plenty to be crabby about. Cancelled events. Social isolation with no end in sight. Worst of all, no summer trip to the shore, at least for us, who are throughly landlocked. These days my travel is limited by the size of my bladder. I won’t go anywhere that would force me to make a pit stop at a public restroom, because they seem pretty risky right now with COVID 19 raging. That means I only visit destinations three hours away or less. But this yummy recipe for Crabmeat Carbonara with Lemons and Capers feels like a little culinary escape. If you live near the seaside, procuring some lovely fresh crab may not be a problem. I have no such access here in Tennessee. I’m happy to say a large can of vacuum sealed lump crabmeat picked up at the local grocery did the job well.
I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to enjoy crabmeat. My husband is not a huge fan of crab cakes. But I love crab, and want to make dishes we will both enjoy. How anyone can dislike crab cakes is beyond me, but it’s just one of his not so charming eccentricities. He has other eccentricities that are delightful, which is why I keep him around. So, when I found this recipe I couldn’t wait to make it and I’m so glad I did.
For this recipe, I encourage you to create a mise en place, as all great chefs do, so that your ingredients are at your fingertips the instant you need them. That’s just a fancy term for prepping everything and assembling it near the stove so you don’t have to go rooting around in the pantry or fridge at a crucial moment. This recipe goes fast once you begin cooking, so be forewarned. It’s also nice if you have a helper who can stir the pasta when you drizzle the beaten egg yolks into the skillet. Spoiler alert! Am I giving too much away? Let me start at the beginning and tell the whole story.
12 ounces bucatini pasta
½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
¼ cup capers, rinsed drained and chopped
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
6 large egg yolks, beaten
3 ounces pecorino Romano cheese grated (about ¾ cup)
½ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
8 ounces fresh Jonah, blue or stone crabmeat, picked over (or make do like I did with canned lump crabmeat). If you have access to stone crabs to use in this recipe then I probably need to hate you. Maybe you should just keep that information to yourself, you bragging slut.
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
Fine sea salt or kosher salt
This dish is great with a crisp white wine. Now, don’t you feel like you’re enjoying a quick trip to the shore? No? Maybe it will help if you eat it in your bathing suit.
Whether this delightful pasta puts you in a beach mood or not, I guarantee it will make you happy. Sometimes it pays to be crabby.
Tip: I grow chives in a pot on my patio. If it were possible to kill them, believe me, they would be dead. For some reason they flourish. You should grow some yourself. When I need them for a recipe like this one, I cut off a bunch and rinse it in water while I’m still holding the bunch together...
Then I take my kitchen shears and snip away at the ends of the bunch until I have all I need. This works much better than trying to cut them up with a knife.
“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.”
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain