King Crab Pasta with Homemade Sourdough Bread Crumbs Recipe

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The Alaska from Scratch CookbookMy oldest son Brady’s two most requested foods are sushi and crab. I can’t imagine where he inherited such a sophisticated and [cough cough]expensive palate. Wink. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, he dryly declared, “Crab.” Although I couldn’t afford to serve a king crab leg dinner to feed 6 on Christmas Day, I made a buttery king crab pasta, which was fancy enough for the holiday occasion but didn’t break the bank.

Alaskans love sourdough, a throwback to the Alaska Gold Rush, when our miners were called Sourdoughs. Some Alaskans maintain sourdough starters that go back generations, keeping them on hand for loaves of bread and stacks of pancakes. Sourdough also makes terrific homemade bread crumbs, which add some welcome texture and rich nuttiness to this crab pasta, soaking up all the delicious sauce in the process.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Sourdough Bread Crumbs
  • 4 ounces day-old sourdough bread, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon zest
For the Pasta
  • 1 pound spaghetti rigati
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dry white wine or Prosecco
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 pound lump Alaska king crab meat
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt
For Serving
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Red-pepper flakes
How to Make It
    To make the sourdough bread Crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lay the bread slices on a large sheet pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until dried out. Allow the bread to cool. Place in a food processor and process into crumbs.
  2. In a skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Stir in 1½ cups of sourdough bread crumbs. Cook, stirring often, until the bread crumbs begin to toast and smell fragrant. Add the salt, garlic, parsley, and lemon zest, stirring well to combine. Remove from the heat and allow the bread crumbs to cool while you make the pasta.
  3. To Make the pasta
  4. Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook for 90 seconds, or until fragrant. Pour the wine into the pan and allow to simmer and reduce for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and zest, crab meat, spaghetti, and cheese, tossing briefly to coat. Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle the sourdough bread crumbs over top of the pasta. Serve in pasta bowls with shaved Parmesan, chopped parsley, and additional red-pepper flakes as desired.
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