Spicy Crab and Vermicelli

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound vermicelli


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small bits

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it, medium to spicy heat level

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala

8 ounces, drained weight, lump crabmeat, shredded

1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1/4 cup half-and-half or cream, eyeball it

Shredded Romano or Parmigiano, your pick, optional

10 to 12 basil leaves, shredded


  1. Place a large pot of water on to boil. Add pasta and salt water. Cook to al dente.
  2. While water comes to a boil, heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and butter. To warm oil and butter add crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and shallots, saute 3 minutes, add shiitake mushrooms and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with sherry or Marsala wine, scatter in crabmeat - feeling for shell bits as you go. Warm the ingredients through, a minute or so, stir in tomatoes and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in half-and-half or cream and reduce heat to lowest setting.
  3. Drain pasta when cooked to al dente and toss with sauce and crab. Top with cheese, if using, and basil.