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Spicy Crab Shells

Difficulty Level: Easy

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 servings


Spicy Crab Shells:

  • 1/2 lb. shell-shaped pasta

  • 2 tbsp. salted butter

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 8 oz. lump crab meat

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 6 oz. tomato paste

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp. Calabrian chili oil

  • 3.5 oz. fresh robiola (or any other creamy cheese)

  • 2 tbsp. chives, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup lemon-garlic panko breadcrumbs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon-Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs:

  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/4 tsp. salt


Lemon-Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs:

  1. In a large pot over low heat, add the olive oil and sauté the minced garlic for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

  2. Stir in the panko breadcrumbs along with the salt and toast in the pot, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon (be careful not to burn!).

  3. Once the breadcrumbs are light brown in color, add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir and continue to toast over low heat for about 2-3 more minutes until the lemon juice is fully absorbed.

Spicy Crab Shells:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook pasta until it’s al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.

  2. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

  3. Add the crab meat, juice of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Stir in the tomato paste and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream and chili oil.

  6. At the end, right before adding the pasta, stir in the robiola cheese until melted. Add more chili oil, salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Strain the pasta and add directly to the pan with the crab sauce along with 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss on medium heat. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

  8. Plate and top with chives and lemon-garlic panko breadcrumbs.


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