Gemelli Pasta with Crab in a Light Lemon Sauce is a wonderful way to use fresh or quality canned crab meat.
The story of Gemelli Pasta with Crab in a Light Lemon Sauce
Eating fresh crab right from the shell is wonderful but there are so many ways to use this great lean protein. Gemelli Pasta with Crab in a Light Lemon (Cream) Sauce is one of them. I used fresh Dungeness crab because it's in season, but this could also be made using a quality canned crab. Just be sure to get a good, lump meat or claw crab from the refrigerator section, not the stuff in a can on the shelves. The stuff on the shelves is fine for making a dip or spread, but not its lack of pieces of crab meat makes it less ideal for this recipe.
What is Gemelli Pasta and Why Use it in this Recipe?
Gemelli pasta means twins in Italian. It is made from 2 strands of pasta that are braided or twisted to make one piece of pasta. The shape allows the flavorful sauce to adhere to the pasta for every bite while allowing the pasta to keep its al'dente texture.
Good substitutes for Gemelli pasta are Fusilli and Cavatelli, but you could use any short pasta, preferably with a nook or cranny.
LindySez: If you are feeling adventurous, try cooking your own fresh crab, it's not hard. Here's a video to show you just how easy it is.
Gemelli Pasta with Crab in a Light Lemon Sauce
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed, halved and thinly sliced laterally
- 1 cup ricotta cheese use either a high-quality ricotta or Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- 1 ½ cups light cream
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest zest first, juice second
- 1 pound crab meat picked through for any lingering shells
- 8 ounces Gemelli pasta I like the shape, but you could use shells or bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions, well-drained, ½ cup pasta water reserved
- Finely chopped fennel fronds the feathery leaves
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the fennel and saute until softened. Add the ricotta and cream, stir together until just melted. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, crab and cooked pasta.
- Stir together until well combined (be gentle when stirring to keep the crab as intact as possible), adding some pasta water if the mixture seems to dry. Sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves and serve.