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Spicy Crab and Vermicelli


  • 1 pound vermicelli

  • Salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small bits

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (eyeball it), depending on how spicy you like it

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala wine

  • 8 ounces (drained weight) lump crabmeat, shredded

  • 1 can crushed San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or cream (eyeball it)

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti

  • Shredded Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional)

  • 10-12 basil leaves, shredded


Place a large pot of water on to boil. Add pasta and salt water. Cook to al dente.

While water comes to a boil, heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO and butter and warm, then add crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and shallots. Sauté three minutes, add shiitake mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes more.

Deglaze the pan with sherry or Marsala wine and scatter in crabmeat – feeling for shell bits as you go. Warm the ingredients through, a minute or so, then stir in tomatoes and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in half-and-half or cream and reduce heat to lowest setting. Drain pasta when cooked to al dente and toss with sauce and crab. Top with cheese, if desired, and basil.