Two weeks ago, while vacationing at the Jersey Shore, cousins asked my family to come to their house for dinner. As any good dinner guest should do, I called Rita and asked if I could bring anything, wine or perhaps dessert. When Rita and Bobby shared with me we would be having Spaghetti and Crabs, I was beyond excited, I think I dreamed of crabs that night! Arriving at their house the next evening with the full family in tow, I walked in the front door and was immediately transported back to 1993 when my Nan and I were in Ocean City, visiting Aunt Josie (Nan’s sister) and she made Spaghetti & Crabs. If someone asked me my favorite smell of the summer, it would be Spaghetti & Crabs – but, and a big but, when they are cooked at the shore. The salt air mixes with the tomato, crab, garlic, and basil and something magical occurs – I just love it.
Bringing me to this past weekend – I decided it was time to make Spaghetti and Crabs in Della’s kitchen. I ran out and grabbed crabs, and all the goods, and my husband, two girls and I, had a spaghetti and crab feast. It was delish – and I will share it with you…I promise, it will not disappoint.
This is the first time I am posting a recipe, I typically do not measure; moving forward I will try to be more cognizant of amounts.
Crabs – about 12 – if you can get blue claws, fabulous, if not, no worries, any crabs will do.
Small bunch of fresh basil
5 large garlic cloves – smashed
Italian seasoning, about 2 tablespoons
4 bay leaves
Wegmans Basting Oil (or regular Olive Oil)
180z Fresh Angel Hair
Crusty French Bread
Steam Crabs and Clean – set aside.
2 9 oz cans crushed tomatos
1 9 oz can san marzano tomatos
In a large stock pot add oil and garlic, heat over medium heat. Let caramelize, but be careful not to burn! Add tomatoes, crush any large tomatoes with hands – just squeeze really tight Add Italian seasoning, bay leaf, and that’s it! Put a lid on until it simmers, then turn back to low. I cook this for about three hours, and then comes the fun. About an hour before you eat, toss the crabs right into the sauce, lid off. Cook for an hour on low.
15 minutes before you are ready to eat – fill pot with water and boil – add salt (water will boil faster, and only chance to season pasta), once boiling toss in angel hair, but be ready with your colander! Literally 3 minutes, that is it! Take the pasta and drain.
Remove crabs from sauce and set into large bowl and cover with tin foil. Ladle about 3 cups of sauce into pasta pot – return pasta to pot and stir gently, add sauce as you like – I do just enough to wet spaghetti and serve rest in a small pitcher on table.
Put pasta in pasta bowl – drizzle with Wegmans Basting Oil, or olive oil and some minced garlic, and top with fresh basil…
Serve with Crabs and Crusty Bread…hint – get lots, and lots of bread. Enjoy!
I typically like wine with pasta, but I prefer a Corona with this dinner. Salute!