Crab asparagus pasta with green pea pesto

By Mary Berg
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Mary Berg shares this fresh and filling farm-to-table meal.

SERVES
4

Ingredients

Green Pea Pesto

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed basil
  • 1/4 cups lightly packed parsley
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to season

Crab Asparagus Pasta

  • 300g short pasta, such as trofie, rotini, or campanelle

Assemble and Serve

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 200 to 225g cooked crab, preferably claw meat
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Crab Asparagus Pasta 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season well with kosher salt.
  2. Add in the peas to cook for two to three minutes just until bright green and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, add about two cups of ice to a large bowl and top with cold water to make an ice bath. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the peas from the water and into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions or until al dente.

Green Pea Pesto 

  1. Drain the peas and add them to a food processor along with the basil, parsley, and pine nuts. Pulse to finely chop everything together then add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, pecorino cheese, and half a cup of the olive oil and process into a slightly chunky pesto. 
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Assemble and Serve 

  1. In the last minute of cooking the pasta, add in the asparagus and cook until bright green and still crisp. Turn off the heat, scoop about one cup of the pasta cooking liquid from the pot, then drain. 
  2. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pot and add in the crab meat. Pour over enough pesto to coat the noodles and add some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce and give the dish a creamy consistency. Turn the heat on to low to keep warm while you make the crispy topping.
  3. Place a small skillet over medium heat and add in the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Add in the panko and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  4. Serve the pasta immediately topped with the crunchy topping. Enjoy! 

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