For me, crab is up there with oxygen. I can't live without it.
So when I went to a restaurant years and years ago, and they had Crab Pomodoro on their menu, I couldn't resist. I should have known when I ordered that dish that it would end up being one of my favorite dishes ever! But the best part about the dish is that there is really nothing complicated about it - it's really a simple pomodoro sauce with a bunch of luscious crabmeat in it. So why not do it yourself for 1/4 the price!
First and foremost, you're going to need crab. I generally use king crab legs because they have a lot of meat in them, and I try to get more claws, less knuckles. Take your crab and put them in a pot of warming water with the juice of 1 lemon and a hefty pinch (or two) of sugar.
Bring to a boil for about 5-7 minutes.
Once your crab is done, remove from the water and put aside to cool.
Next, grab a large shallot and either 4 normal-sized cloves of garlic, or 2 mutant-gigantic cloves of garlic as I have here.
Chop them all finely, and set aside.
Now time to prep the tomatoes. I'd like to take a minute to stray for a very important lesson: when making your own italian tomato sauce, you must use whole canned tomatoes. Not stewed, not diced, not crushed, but whole canned tomatoes. They have infinitely more flavor than any other canned tomato, and will create a wonderful sauce. Also they have been peeled, so you won't get that chewy skin-roll that often accompanies other types of canned tomatoes.
Ok, rant over. But do it!
Anyway, the best way to prepare whole tomatoes is to open the can, grab one tomato, and with your hand still over the can, gently push your thumb through the flesh of the tomato. The reason to do this is that a whole canned tomato is plump full of liquid. If you take it out and start chopping it, the juice will run all over the place and after two tomatoes you'll have a never-ending tomato juice mess. So let the tomato drain in the can before moving it to your cutting board.
Then, one by one, roughly chop the tomato.
See that? My tomato juice has not runneth over. Case in point.
Some people prefer to crush the tomatoes by hand, but I find that ends up with extremely uneven pieces of tomato in my sauce, so I prefer to roughly chop. But do as you wish!
Now it's time to assemble the sauce.
Put some olive oil in a pan, and heat until the oil sizzles upon contact with water. Add your shallots and garlic.
Stir frequently on medium heat to get the deliciousness to soften and sweat, about 3 minutes.
Add about 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Bring to a simmer, about 4 minutes to boil the alcohol away.
Now all the tomato juice should still be left over in the can - pour about 1 cup of it into the pan with the shallots and garlic. Bring to a simmer.
Add your tomatoes, as well as some spices such as basil, parsley, etc. Just make sure not to over-season, as this is a dish where the tomato and crab should be the star, not the spices! The acidity of the tomato will go wonderfully with the crab, so you don't want to cover it up with too many herbs. Oh - but don't forget two essentials though - salt and pepper too!
Let the sauce simmer over medium heat, while you turn your attention to the crab and the pasta.
Put your choice of pasta - I prefer linguine for this recipe - in boiling water.
Now on to the crab! Using your kitchen shears, cut the shell of the crab so you can easily pull out the meat. Make sure you get every ounce!
After letting your sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, you can add the crab.
At this point, your noodles should be about done, so drain them and add them right into the pan with the sauce. Carefully toss it all together. Make sure not to stir as you don't want the crabmeat shredding too much! I recommend using tongs to lightly toss together.
And you're done! Plate in a pasta bowl (wide shallow bowl), and finish with a pinch of fresh parsley. Serve with a hearty chardonnay. Yum!