Asparagus Crab Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms

Last week, I planned on making a tomato based penne. But as we were grocery shopping, I saw a cheap can of crab meat (1 pound for $7.99). Since we are on a recession budget, I decided to give the canned crab a try. And the penne dish morphed into an asparagus crab pasta with leeks and mushrooms.

I tried to keep the pasta simple and make it a one pot dish... well two pots, you need another one to cook the pasta, but you get my point. After I sautéed the garlic, leek, asparagus and mushroom mixture, I gave it a taste and it was great by itself. I opened the can of crab and finally realized it was all claw meat... damn it! No wonder it was so cheap.

I usually eat my steamed crab dipped in a mixture of lemon juice, salt and pepper. So, I added the juice and zest of a lemon to the pasta. Even with the canned crab claw meat, the pasta was really good. It had great flavors from the leeks and asparagus, while the lemon juice and zest brightened up the pasta. Sadly, I overcooked the asparagus by being overzealous with my picture taking.

Next time I make this dish, I'll use fresh crab meat, not take pictures while cooking and this asparagus crab pasta will be even better. Let's hope this recession ends soon!

Side Note: Hungry Bear and I will be moving next week... a long distance move of 1.5 miles. We'll be busy with packing and un-packing for the next two weeks, so new posts will be limited during this time. The good news is we'll be cooking and baking in a much nicer, remodeled kitchen. I can't wait for the first Sunday night dinner in the new place!

Asparagus Crab Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms

Asparagus Crab Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms Recipe

SND Note: Don't forget to salt the water before cooking your pasta. If the pasta is dry after all ingredients are combined, add a little pasta water and/or a drizzle of olive oil. I used penne in the dish because it was in the pantry, but any pasta can be used.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large leeks, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 lemons - 1 lemon zested and juiced, 1 lemon cut in wedges
  • 1-2 Thai chili peppers, minced (optional)
  • 1 pound cooked crab meat, remove any shells or cartilage
  • 1 pound pasta (penne, fettuccini or your favorite type), cooked
  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add garlic and leeks cook until leeks are softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add butter, remaining 1 tablespoon of oil,  asparagus, mushrooms, salt and pepper; sauté until vegetables are tender, but with a bite.
  2. Add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, chili pepper, crab meat and mix in with vegetables. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta; mix thoroughly and heat through. Serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle of olive oil.

Makes 4-6 servings

[tags]crab, asparagus, leeks, mushrooms, pasta, penne, easy [/tags]

9 Comments on “Asparagus Crab Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms”

  1. A new and better kitchen is an extra push for some great food!
    This looks delish.

  2. Amanda said:

    I bet this would be equally as good with a roasted rotiserrie chicken too. Very budget-friendly dish.

  3. Judy said:

    I am guessing you used the canned crab from the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s. I find it of pretty good quality for canned crab, and definitely a good bargain.

  4. saucytart said:

    l just love what you’re doing here. a great site & wonderful recipes. i’ve long been interested in asian cuisines, but terrified of it being too complicated to wrap my head around. thanks for making your recipes accessible (and giving up the family secrets)!

  5. Chuck,
    Freaky! Last week while grocery shopping, I saw a can of crab meat for $1.79. I made something with crab and asparagus too! Can you guess what it was? Hint: it’s VNese. :) Don’t worry, if you don’t guess, I’ll eventually post my recipe. ;)

    PS, Is it weird that you’re the third blogger I know moving within the past week? And coincidentally, all three of you make apologies for being out of the internets while setting up house. Oh, man, we are so tied to the web.

  6. Chuck said:

    Patricia, thanks. We are really looking forward to getting this moving process over and start cooking in the new kitchen.

    Amanda, you’re right. It would be good with rotisserie chicken.

    Hi Judy! You guessed right. I just didn’t want to mention Trader Joe’s three posts in a row. The crab meat was good for the price, but I was expecting body meat too… my mistake for not reading the label.

    saucytart, our pleasure. Dig in, try out the recipes and let me know what you think.

    WC, I was dreaming of sup mang tay cua (asparagus crab soup) recently. So you must have made it, since we are on the same food wavelength!?!?

    It must be food blogger moving week. ;-) The last several months, I’ve been tied to my laptop and internet almost 24-7, well, when I’m awake. It’s probably good for me to get off the grid for a little bit.

  7. Heather said:

    That’s a big plate of springtime, right there.

    You should tell TJ’s that you post about them so much – maybe they’ll give you a kickback or something. :)

  8. Springtime said:

    I had a go at making this last night after coming across the post in a google search for something I could make with some crab meat I found in the cupboard and pasta.

    Admittedly, I didn’t have any asparagus or chilli peppers. But a tiny dash of sweet chilli sauce (less than a teaspoon) with some chilli flakes seemed to do the job.

    It was wonderful! Thank you!

  9. Great recipe! I am now officially addicted to this blog! I can’t stop reading!

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