Crab Fra Diavolo

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound lump crabmeat in a tub or picked king crab leg meat

1 lemon 

2 large shallots

4 large cloves garlic 

2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling

2 tablespoons butter 

1 large fresh bay leaf 


1 teaspoon fennel pollen 

Calabrian chili paste, about 1 tablespoon 

1/2 cup fino sherry or dry vermouth 

2 cans (14 ounces each) Italian canned cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 cups passata (half a 24-ounce jar)

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) egg linguini or spaghetti

1 cup loosely packed chives, dill and parsley (a combination of the three)

1 handful basil leaves, torn


  1. Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
  2. Place crab in bowl and pick through with fingertips for cartilage and shells. Top with juice of 1 lemon.
  3. Peel and finely chop shallots and chop or grate garlic.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO. Melt butter into oil, then add shallots and bay leaf. Stir a minute, then add garlic and season with salt and fennel pollen. Stir 2 minutes, then add chili paste and stir another minute. Add sherry and reduce by half. Add cherry tomatoes and passata, stir and reduce heat to low.
  5. Salt water liberally for pasta and drop pasta; have a cup near stove to reserve starchy water and place strainer or colander in sink. Cook pasta 4 to 5 minutes, a minute less than package directions.
  6. Pile together the chives, parsley and dill and chop.
  7. Add basil to sauce. Add crab to sauce to heat through. Remove bay leaf from sauce.
  8. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta, add to sauce with half of the herbs, toss gently to combine and adjust seasonings. Add water as necessary to loosen the sauce. Drizzle with EVOO and top pasta with reserved herbs.
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