It is a warm and sunny day here in Ottawa. There is not a cloud in the sky. Birds are singing. Everyone is out and men are starting to take their shirts off. My kind of sightseeing!
I was flipping through the pages of my cookbooks in search of the perfect summer recipe for this post. And I found it. Homemade Pappardelle with raw bluefin tuna and oregano, from Marc Vetri’s Il viaggio di Vetri. Light, fresh, healthy, colourful. For this recipe, I needed sushi-grade tuna, of course. I looked for it everywhere for hours and I was not able to find anything close to that anywhere in Ottawa. Pretty pathetic, isn’t it? I will have to try this recipe for your reading/tasting pleasure another time. When I do, you will know exactly how it turned out.
In the meantime, not only did I have to work with what is currently in season, but also with what is available in Ottawa on a Sunday afternoon. I stumbled upon a stash of freshly cooked snow crab and remembered this recipe from Mario Batali’s Molto italiano that I have made a few times before. Simple, fresh and excellent – everything that I am looking for!
• 1 pound linguine
• 2 tbsp fine sea salt
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
• 3 shallots, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 200 g fresh crabmeat (I would not use canned crab meat here)
• 1/2 head radicchio, shredded
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil and add salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, until it is just al dente, and drain, reserving a little pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the shallots, garlic, and crushed red pepper and saute until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, then add the butter, and remove from heat.
3. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the wine mixture and return pan to heat. Add crab, radicchio, and scallions and toss until radicchio is wilted, about 1 minute. Pour into a warm serving bowl and serve.