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1/2 pound dry pasta (I like the texture of spaghetti alla chitarra)
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
Butter and/or olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup dry, high-acid, white wine (Albariño, Pigato, etc.)
1/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts
chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of sea salt (or 3 tablespoons of lighter and flakier kosher salt) and the pasta.
Mix the breadcrumbs and mayonnaise together then toast in a skillet, stirring frequently, until crispy and browned, stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of Espelette pepper, cook for 10-20 more seconds, then remove and and set aside.
In the same skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and/or butter over medium heat, briefly sauté the garlic (do not allow it to burn), add the wine, then cook until reduced by half. Add the artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and a big pinch of Espelette and reduce to a low heat.
Reserve a small cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta to the skillet along with the crab meat and another pinch of Espelette, then toss to mix. If the sauce seems thick add some of the reserved pasta water (the goal is to have a thin sauce that coats everything well).
Remove to two or three large plates or shallow bowls and top with the breadcrumbs, parsley if desired, and a bit more Espelette. You can mix the breadcrumbs in if you like but they will lose their crunch fast.
• If you're making this with leftover crab add a bit of the crab fat (sometimes also called tomalley) to the bread crumbs before frying.
• Instead of parsley you can add a dusting of Shabazi N38.
• Not a shellfish person? Try pan-frying shredded hearts of palm briefly in some olive oil as a great crab substitute. Add a bit of Noga N.17 to add a delicate sweetness.
• Vegan? Sub toum for the mayonnaise, omit the chopped garlic, and use hearts of palm like above.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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