On a warm fall day, some friends brought some fresh crab from a crabbing trip. The garden still had large amounts of fresh tomatoes and basil. I combined those ingredients to make the following recipe. It turned out well. Later the San Francisco Examiner ran a cooking contest attracting thousands of recipes. Finalist were chosen in four categories, and with this dish I won both it's category "California Dishes" and a the grand prize. It is easy to fix, but is best with really good ingredients.
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
½ cup dry white wine
⅓ cup cream
½ lb. fettuccine
½ cup fresh basil finely chopped
½ cup cooked dungeness crab meat
¼ cup parsley chopped
¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated
No nutrition information available
1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic and simmer slowly until the tomatoes soften and begin to break down. Add the cream and ⅓ cup white wine. Simmer 10 minutes, thinning with additional white wine if the sauce becomes thicker than heavy cream.
2. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until soft, but still firm to the bite. Drain.
3. To the sauce add the crab meat, fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste and 2 TB chopped parsley. Heat through as the pasta cooks. (Don't overcook or the crab will begin to toughen, and the basil will wilt excessively.) Add the pasta and toss to combine well.
4. Place the pasta on a serving platter (or individual plates), sprinkle with remaining parsley and Parmesan and garnish with whole basil leaves. Serve with a leaf lettuce salad, crusty french bread and a Cabernet Blanc or Zinfandel Blanc. Makes 4 servings.
5. The tomatoes give this sauce a pink hue, making the final dish particularly appealing served on white china garnished with the green basil leaves. Lobster, shrimp or king crab can also be used, but the sweet flavor of fresh dungeness crab adds a great deal to the dish. Fresh, vine ripened tomatoes and fresh basil make the dish work at its best. Fresh homemade pasta is also best. However, fresh fettuccine, found in the deli case in most major supermarkets will work well.