Spaghetti & Crabs


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!

Published in: on July 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Greetings from Della’s Loft

I am a Mom, Sister, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Colleague, and so many other roles in life, and the one thing that is weaved through all of my experiences in this life, is one true love, a love that was sparked when I felt the paper thin flesh break through my fingers and the rustic aroma fill the area, yes garlic is my Muse, a plate my canvas, and cooking is my one true love.  I am Della. Welcome to my site.

I am not a trained chef, in fact, I have no formal culinary training.  My Italian grandmother put a wooden spoon in my hand before a bottle, and cooking, the craft of mixing flavors as an artist blends their oils, flows through my veins.  They say, memory is best recalled from one sense, and that sense is smell.  This may be the reason I am so compelled to create culinary experiences every night for my family, by doing so, I am somehow bringing the old world back to the new, reliving the experiences of my grandmother and aunts as the garlic sizzles in olive oil or the peppers char in the broiler, only this time it is my kitchen with my children present so they too may be able to recall this memory one day, and that my friends is the past and present, living on the future.  Some may call it culture, so may call it tradition, I call it spirit, and I feel its love. 

So join my on this adventure, and welcome to my kitchen.  May we raise our glasses and toast to those that have come and gone, and awaken them with scents of sweet  basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and all the wonderful ingredients of life.  From time to time, Nan, Aunt Josie, or Aunt Louise may visit with their styles and techniques, and maybe if you choose to try one of my creations in your own kitchen, you may catch a glimpse of an old Italian woman gracing your table.  Salute!

Published in: on July 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment