Crab, Saffron, & Tomato Linguine

Bless everyone who cooks seafood.

If didn’t have to pick the crab legs this lovely dish wouldn’t have taken but a few minutes no, I did not make the pasta, but Yotam’s instructions are included in the recipe. I didn’t have a plum tomato so I added a bit of tomato paste(1-2 teaspoons), substituted snow crab meat for all of the crab called for in the recipe, and added the bloomed saffron to the sauce The saffron in the sauce adds beautiful color to the entire dish…I made a mixed lettuce salad with assorted olives, salt & pepper seasoned olive oil sliced celery, with a nice lemon vinaigrette drizzled over the assorted lettuces.

Yotam’s Recipe is slightly adapted…

Prep 25 min
Cook 75 min
Rest 1 hr
Serves 2-4

For the pasta:
⅛ tsp saffron threads 
200g ‘00’ flour
, plus extra for dusting
2 large eggs, beaten

For the sauce
60ml olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 
Fine sea salt and black pepper
1 red chili
 (10g), cut in half lengthways and thinly sliced
2 celery sticks (75g), cut on the diagonal into ½cm-thick slices
100ml dry white wine 
50g brown crab meat I chose snow crab, but I had to spend some time picking it from the shells
1 large plum tomato
 (140g), roughly grated and skin discarded I substituted a teaspoon or two of tomato paste
100g white crab meat 
10g (about 2¾ tbsp)
 parsley leaves, roughly chopped 
5g (about 1½ tbsp) tarragon leaves, roughly chopped 
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the pasta, put the saffron in a small bowl or cup, add a teaspoon of just-boiled water, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Tip in the beaten eggs, the saffron, and its soaking water mix to a dough with your hands. Put the dough on a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth, elastic, and bouncy. Wrap the dough tightly, then chill for an hour (or overnight, if you want to get ahead).

Start the sauce:

Put the oil in a small saucepan on medium heat and, once hot, fry the garlic, stirring, for a minute, until lightly golden. Tip the mixture into a small sieve set over a small bowl, then leave both the fried garlic and flavored oil to cool.

Set up a pasta machine, then lightly flour both the device and a clean work surface. Divide the dough in two and, using a floured rolling pin, roll out both pieces into a 1cm-thick rectangle as wide as the machine. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the pasta through the machine twice at every level, starting from the widest setting and dusting with flour as you go. Stop at the penultimate setting, when the pasta is about 1mm thick. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Cut each sheet of pasta in half widthways, so you now have four pieces, lay these out separately on a work surface, and dust generously with flour. With the shorter side of one sheet facing you, loosely roll up each piece of dough, then use a sharp knife to cut along its length into ½cm-wide strips. Repeat with the remaining sheets, then unravel all the strips of noodles and leave to rest in another generous dusting of flour.

Bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to a boil. Drop in all the pasta, cook for three minutes, until al dente, then drain, saving 50ml of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the reserved garlic oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high heat. Add the chili and celery, and saute, stirring occasionally, for four minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the wine, brown crab meat, and grated tomato/tomato paste, and cook for a couple of minutes, until thickened. Ladle in the reserved pasta water, stir in the drained pasta, white crab meat, herbs, cherry tomatoes, a quarter teaspoon of fine salt, and a good grind of pepper, and toss for about a minute until the sauce emulsifies.

Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and remaining garlic oil, divide between four shallow bowls, sprinkle with the fried garlic, and serve.

Yotam’s recipe link:
https://www.theguardian.com/food/2022/jun/11/crab-saffron-linguine-grilled-courgettes-garlic-ricotta-agrodolce-torta-della-nonna-yotam-ottolenghi-recipes

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