Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spaghetti Carbonara with Crab and Meyer Lemon

It was an ordinary Thursday evening until  I get an email. The email was titled "L found a pin for you." L being my daughter. I had a sneaky feeling I knew what it was. The night before daughter L had come across a recipe she wanted me to try to make. It makes use of the numerous Meyer Lemon that are strewn across my kitchen counters. L LOVES Spaghetti Carbonara; to have it combined with Crab and Meyer Lemon was near perfection to her. She also loves Crab. She calls before leaving the office to ask what I needed to make the dish. LOL. The confidence of one well love. Ha, ha. 

I am happy to report that the dish was a huge success! Everyone gobbled it up and practically licked the pan clean. A few grumbles that someone had taken too much, leaving others without any seconds. It was declared a keeper!!

Adapted from James Beard Foundation

Spaghetti Carbonara with Crab and Meyer Lemon

Serves: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 medium shallots, minced (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley plus more for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
½ pound lump crabmeat
11 ounces dry spaghetti
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup toasted bread crumbs

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until the shallots are golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the pancetta mixture and whisk together. Add the Meyer lemon zest and juice. Whisk to combine. Gently stir in the crab. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and immediately add the hot pasta to the egg and crab mixture. Add the butter, then toss the pasta quickly and thoroughly to make sure all of the strands are coated and that the ingredients are well mixed.
To serve, divide the pasta among four plates and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs and chopped parsley.

Use freshly grated parmesan cheese rather than pre-grated. Pre-grated cheese is usually coated in something to prevent clumping (like cellulose powder) which will keep the cheese from melting smoothly.

I think it is possible to cut down on the quantity of pancetta and still make a very tasty dish. The next time I make it, I might reserve some of the pancetta and lump crabmeat for the final toss. A lot of the pancetta and crab meat ended at the bottom of the pan, giving the later partakers a healthy helping of the goodies!! No matter how throughly and gently I toss the spaghetti with the carbonara sauce

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