TOASTED ANGEL HAIR PASTA WITH CRAB & HABANERO CREAM SAUCE – While the flavors in this recipe are complex, you can make this toasted angel hair pasta with crab and habanero cream sauce in just 45 minutes! Suitable for weeknight dinners as well as special events!
TOASTED ANGEL HAIR PASTA WITH CRAB & HABANERO CREAM SAUCE
— 8 oz (ca. 302 g) angel hair pasta broken in half or three pieces
— 1/4 cup olive oil
— 2 tbsp butter
— 1/2 tsp salt
— 1 leek sliced into half-moons and washed (see post for instructions)
— 1/2 habanero pepper seeds removed and left in 2 large pieces (use a whole pepper, seeds removed and quartered, if you like more of a kick)
— 1/4 cup flour
— 1 1/2 cups milk
— 1/4 cup cream
— 1 1/2 cups water
— 1/2 cup white wine
— 8 oz (ca. 302 g) lump crab picked over for bits of shell
— 1/2 bag baby spinach 3 cups, loosely packed
— 1 preserved lemon (use 2 if desired)
— 3 cloves garlic minced
— Kosher salt to taste
For the topping:
— 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
— 4 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
8 wedges of preserved lemon, cut Remove and discard the flesh of the lemon by sliding a knife between the meat and the rind. Using a sharp knife, cut the rind into small pieces (this is what you will be using). See the post for more information and photographs.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add angel hair and salt and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown.
Using tongs, remove pasta into a bowl, leaving oil in the pan.
Add 2 tbsp butter and sauté habanero, leeks, and garlic, for 3 minutes or until leeks are tender.
To cook the flour, add it to the pan and stir continually for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the milk, water, cream, and white wine slowly. Return the toasted pasta to the pot and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through. Note: If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it out with half a cup of water. You can repeat this process if necessary (it’s difficult to predict a precise half-box of pasta!).
Turn off heat and remove habanero. Stir in spinach and preserved lemon rind. Scatter crab meat over the top of the pasta dish.
Mix bread crumbs and melted butter. Top pasta with bread crumb mixture and bake for 15 minutes. Broil an additional 1-2 minutes if the top isn’t browned yet.