Melissa Clark’s Buttery Crab Pasta recipe

Peninsula Premier Admin

The long-delayed commercial Dungeness season is here at last, and with the fleet out to sea at this very moment, delicious crustaceans should be headed to markets soon. Much as we love the simplicity of Dungeness served with melted butter and a squeeze of lemon, there are other options, too, including this buttery crab pasta recipe by food writer Melissa Clark.

The New York Times food columnist is known for the delicious, easy-to-follow recipes she shares in the NYT food section, as well as the pages of her best-selling cookbooks. In “Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France” (Clarkson Potter, $37.50), she’s taken classic French fare and updated it for American kitchens. The book’s 150 recipes include Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Apricot Tarte Tatin and this beautiful pasta which combines fresh herbs, lemon, parmesan and lump crabmeat.

Clark doesn’t specify what kind of crab, but we’re nominating fresh Dungeness for the honor.

Buttery Crab Pasta with Golden Tomatoes and Chervil

Makes 2 main course servings or 4 appetizer servings


Fine sea salt, as needed

8 ounces bucatini or linguine

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

2 cups halved golden or red cherry tomatoes

1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

½ cup fresh chervil leaves, divided

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any stray shells

Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Flaky sea salt, for serving


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (usually a minute or two less than the package directs). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in ½ cup of the pasta water and the Parmesan. Then stir in the tomatoes, scallion, red pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt and simmer for 1 minute.

Stir in the pasta, ¼ cup of the chervil, the lemon zest and juice, and black pepper to taste; toss until warmed through. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the crab pasta sprinkled with Parmesan, the remaining ¼ cup chervil, a drizzle of olive oil and flaky sea salt to taste.

— Reprinted from “Dinner in French.” Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Laura Edwards. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Contributed by local news sources

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