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 Recipe
- 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
- 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.
- 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]