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Rachael Ray's Crabby & Corny Spaghetti
This dish is a knockout for late summer: It’s spicy and tangy with jalapeños and Peppadew peppers, which balance the sweetness of the crab and corn.
3 large ears corn, shucked
3 jalapeño chiles
12 oz. cold meaty, less fatty bacon (about 12 thick slices)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise and chopped
Salt and pepper
5 to 6 large cloves garlic—thinly sliced, chopped, or grated
1 lb. spaghetti or gluten-free corn spaghetti
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. king crab leg meat, chopped (from 2 lb. of legs), or 1 lb. lump crabmeat
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), to taste
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup mild or hot Peppadew peppers from a jar, chopped, plus a fat splash of the brine
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for tossing with the pasta and passing at the table
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Invert a small bowl inside a large bowl. Working with 1 ear of corn at a time, steady the larger end on top of the small bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs into the large bowl.
For spicy pasta, finely chop the chiles with the seeds and ribs. For milder heat, remove the seeds and ribs, then finely chop.
Chop the cold bacon into 1/4-inch cubes.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high. Add the oil, two turns of the pan. Add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat begins to render, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. (If the bacon is meaty, it shouldn’t be necessary to drain the fat.) Add the garlic and chiles. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Reserve about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the crabmeat. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes; season with the Old Bay and hot sauce.
Mix the pasta and cooking water, parsley, Peppadew peppers and brine, and thyme into the corn and leeks. Mix in a handful of Parm; season. Fold in the crabmeat. Serve the pasta and pass more cheese at the table.