THIS dish is super easy to make. It is a perfect combination of succulent crab, in a cream sauce with the brightness of lemon and the sacred crunch and healthiness that asparagus brings!!
Now, if you don’t have King Crab, don’t worry. You can use jumbo lump crabmeat but please DO NOT use imitation crab meat. That would be blasphemous. Adding shrimp or lobster to this, along with other vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower is an absolutely great idea and no one would blame you for doing so. Don’t forget to send me an invite and I will bring the wine and dessert. To get you in the mood for fall and comfort food, short ribs is not a bad idea as well. I may need to explore this option. Anyway, this is truly summer in a bowl. You can still enjoy this year round. The sauce is quite simple to reproduce. It has only a few ingredients and it’s light and creamy; not too heavy. This version is made with a hint of heavy cream, which can be omitted and stock can be used instead, with a little white wine, for good measure. I mean, wine makes everything taste better. Right? Or is it butter? Well, both can compliment a dish well.
So, what the heck is orecchiette? It is a pasta variety, with a very unique domed shape. It can stand on its own with hearty sauces like tomato and pesto and is perfect for scooping up fresh vegetables. Speaking of vegetables, the addition of asparagus was totally a last minute decision. I had a distinct vision of how I wanted this dish to be. My creative process of developing recipes comes from many areas of inspiration. It can be a visit to an awesome restaurant, a commercial, my old textbooks or I rely on my brain for guidance. Anyway, I always wanted to prepare orecchiette pasta because the shape was just so different. I simply liked the way it looked. What to prepare with it to compliment the strength of the pasta, was easy. I had king crab in the freezer and by the way, I always have king crab in the freezer. I must thank Costco and their seafood road shows for them. King crab served alone, is sooooooo good. The meat is buttery and doesn’t need any seasoning, at least not for me. I want to taste the freshness of the ocean. What sauce to use was easy. Why not a light cream sauce with a hint of lemon. Seafood and lemon go great together. It just needed something else for color. I looked in the refrigerator and there it was. Asparagus. To give this dish another layer of flavor, I decided to grill the asparagus.
The asparagus provided that pop of color that was needed and also the crunch that this dish deserves. So, go ahead and add this dish to your rotation. You won’t be disappointed.
Orecchiette Pasta with King Crab and Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce
- 3 tbsp Unsalted butter
- 3 Shallots minced
- 3/4 cup Low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Dry white wine
- 2 tsp Lemon zest
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 cups Grilled Asparagus cut in small pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound Orecchiette pasta
- 2 pounds King crab meat diced
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until tender, but firm to bite. Stir occasionally. Drain and return pasta to pot.
Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, around 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add vegetable or chicken broth along with the white wine. Simmer over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced, about 2 minutes. Warm the cream in a small pot and add to the skillet along with the lemon zest. Simmer until the sauce thickens, around 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add crab meat and asparagus and serve.
You can add microgreens as a garnish. These can be found in specialty stores such as Whole Foods.