Jumbo Lump Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata

Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Spaghetti with a Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs. Restaurant quality dish yet quick and easy #weeknightmeal  Can be #dairyfree


Fresh, sweet jumbo lumb crab meat with spaghetti is such simple classic. Take it to the next level by adding lemon gremolata and toasted bread crumbs. And yes, I did tag this as a quick and easy weeknight meal (it is, I promise!).

Whenever my husband and I go to a nice restaurant that has crab cocktail on the menu, we have to get it. I just love the sweet flavor of the crab with a touch of heat from the cocktail sauce. And it’s pretty much guilt free with low calories and low fat.

Last weekend we decided to cook something restaurant quality at home instead of going out, and I was craving crab. I ran to Costco just to get a container of jumbo lump crab meat – it’s totally worth it. Their container is bigger than what you can get at a regular food market and it’s about $10 less. Plus, it’s fresh.

When I walked in to Costco I put my blinders on and headed straight for the food section as I kept telling myself “don’t go in the middle section, don’t go in the middle section.” Because you know if you even glance that way something is going to suck you in and I’d end up coming home with a new coat, a jumbo pack of socks, a book, Christmas wrapping paper (in August), and I’d forget the crab. I’m happy to say that this time I checked out with just one item – this huge container of jumbo lump crab meat.

When using jumbo lump crab, you never want to break up those big, beautiful chunks of meat. If you want something more broken up, just buy the regular lump crab. The jumbo lump chunks are the perfect bite. And when you get the huge container at Costco, you will definitely have extra. It makes great crab cocktail the next day!

So I mentioned that the gremolata and toasted bread crumbs take this dish pasta to the next level, and they really do. It’s such a simple part of the dish, but turns it from an at home dish to a fancy restaurant quality dish. Don’t skip the breadcrumbs! They seriously give the pasta such a distinctive crunch.

This can be a dairy free dish, which is how I made it. The original recipe calls for butter to start the pan sauce; I used oil. The recipe also calls for butter to toast the breadcrumbs; I used oil again. Finally, I did not put Parmesan cheese on mine, but my husband did.

Jumbo Lump Crap Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs
Adapted from: Foodie Crush

Ingredients for the Crab Spaghetti

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • Kosher salt, black pepper to taste
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese
Ingredients for the Lemon Gremolata and Toasted Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • Kosher salt to taste

Directions

Gremolata and Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • Combine the garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. Season with salt if desired. Set aside. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the bread crumbs and stir for 3 minutes, until toasted and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl OR combine with the gremolata (your choice! I kept them separate the second time I made this dish since my husband didn’t want them).
Spaghetti
  • Cook the spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain, reserving 1 c of the water.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the sliced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes, wine, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss. Add the crab and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve topped a spoonful of the gremolata and toasted bread crumbs. Add Parmesan if desired. 

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic Butter

Think back to your favorite meal or dish that you ever had. The one you dream about. The one you can taste if you just close your eyes and remember. The one that reminds me of the best tagline I have ever seen – “You only live once, but if you dine well once is all you need.”

I’ve asked my husband his favorite meal and he consistently says “the mussels from Fore Street.”
Fore Street is a cozy and rustic restaurant in Portland, Maine that has been on many lists, including landing a spot in the top 100 in the world! And after finally getting there myself several years ago, the restaurant is now in my top 5.

My husband has been lucky enough to get back there a few times when traveling and of course he orders the mussels.

So what’s a girl who loves to cook to do when she wants to really take care of her man? Recreate his favorite dish, of course! My husband has been traveling non-stop over the past 10 months, only coming home for quick 40 hour weekends. He deserved some spoiling.

I knew if I was making mussels it would have to be the Fore Street recipe. Luckily I found it without any trouble.

Having tasted them before I knew they were roasted in a garlicky butter sauce, but was surprised to read that almonds were the main ingredient in the sauce. I guess that explains the richness in the sauce.

Now, I have never prepared mussels at home and wasn’t sure what was meant by debearding the mussels (and honestly I was a bit scared to find out!!). Turns out it is simply removing the tag, or the beard, from the side of the mussel. Click here for a great demo.

This is a very easy dish to pull together – all you need is a food processor, an oven-safe skillet (or cast iron pan), 25 minutes of prep-time and 12 minutes of cook time. 

Making the sauce is simply combining the almonds, butter, garlic and other ingredients in your food processor until creamy. Dollop that over the mussels, roast the mussels (while you cut the bread and pour the wine), and that’s it. Sometimes the most amazing and sophisticated things you eat really are the most simple. Back to basics, true, good food. 

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic ButterAdapted from: Food and Wine (via Fore Street Restaurant)Notes: the original recipe called for 4 pounds of mussels for this amount of sauce. I used 2 pounds of mussels and the same amount of sauce – we definitely wanted extra for sopping it up with bread. Also, I used a lot more garlic at my husband’s request. Glad I did! 
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 c salted roasted almonds
  • 1 stick unsalted butter quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno 
  • 1 tsp finely ground pepper
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/2 c dry white wine 
Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit
  • In a food processor, grind the almonds until they are mostly fine with some larger pieces. Add in the butter, minced garlic, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until blended. Season with salt. 
  • Place the mussels in a large, oven-proof skillet. 
  • Pour in the wine and then dollop the butter all over the mussels, making sure each area of the pan has some of the butter. 
  • Roast the mussels for 12 minutes, stirring once and shaking the pan a few times. Discard any mussels that did not open after 12 minutes.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

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Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations