San Francisco's Dungeness Crab

On a recent trip to visit our old friends in the San Francisco bay area, we went to Sam and Anissa's house ( TofC contributors ) for yet another crazy-good meal. This time they brought home a couple live Dungeness Crab's from their local farmer's market in Marin County and made magic appear in the form of a rich and delicious naughty pasta creation.


Serves 6

Ingredient List:

2 live crabs
4 star asnise
2 fennel tops (reserve some of the green lace like leaves for final garnish)
2 smashed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
8-10oz of fresh Tagliatelle pasta (or similar)
1 diced shallot
1 TB butter
1 1/2 cups half and half
1-2 sliced Habañeros ( seeds removed )
zest of 1 lemon
lots of fresh cracked black pepper

For Crab Preparation:

Fill a large pot with water and add the star anise, 1 TB of salt, fennel tops, smashed garlic cloves, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook crabs ( one at a time if you don't have a big enough pot) for 15 minutes per pound. Allow to cool and extract meat.

For Sauce Prep:

Saute the shallot in butter and when soft and translucent, add the 1 1/2 cups half-n-half. Cook over low heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Add habañeros. Once its warm and starts to thicken, add crab meat, lemon zest and some cracked black pepper.

Boil the fresh pasta in salted water and drain. Add pasta to the sauce and cook/stir for 1-2 minutes more until the noodles have absorbed the sauce and the sauce has absorbed some starch.

Finally, garnish with the fennel leaves... Voilà !

Recipe by Sam Grawe

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