Let’s talk pasta for a minute.
I am always in the mood for pasta. Even in the summer when boiling water or standing over a hot stove seems like blasphemy. Even in summer when all the fresh produce is abundant and lovely. I am always down for a big bowl of carby comfort.
This lemon cream linguine with crab is a meal I could eat any day of the week, year round. It is heavenly. And, despite it being a cream-based sauce, it eats light! Thanks to all the lemon, herbs, and jumbo lump crab meat we’re adding to the situation. It’s decadent and delicious but doesn’t feel too heavy or rich.
So it totally counts as summer food.
The sauce is a simple one. Heavy cream, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice. That’s it. Suuuuuper easy but flavorful. I find that when I am working with very high quality seafood, less is more with the other ingredients. Just let the seafood shine.
Good crab meat is definitely an investment. But it’s one that I think is totally worth it. You want big hunks of jumbo lump crab. The crab shown here was actually classified as “colossal lump.” Not only does it look and TASTE better (there’s no fishiness!), it also makes a statement. Like “BOOM! That is a CRAB pasta.” Meaning, you know what’s in it. You know what you’re eating.
When the crab is this good, you can keep the rest of it simplified. That’s why the sauce is really just cream and lemon – good crab doesn’t need anything else. That’s how I feel about crab cakes too – less is more; let the crab be the star. Keep your breading/filling for another dish.
That’s exactly how you should approach a simple dish like this one. No frills. No extras. Just let the crab do the talking!
Putting this dish together couldn’t be easier. While the pasta is cooking, you heat up the cream and let it infuse with the fresh lemon and garlic. Then, you toss the cooked noodles in the cream with some of that magical pasta cooking water. Stir and stir, toss and toss, until a thick and creamy sauce forms, coating every strand of pasta. It takes a couple minutes for the magic to happen, but once it does, you’ll be swooning.
All that’s left to do is add in the actual crab, warm it through, and serve!
I told you this counts as summer food. It’s fast. Easy. Fresh. Light.
Oh, and absolutely DELISH.
This Lemon Cream Linguine with Crab is simple food at its best. Jumbo lump crab is the star of the show here, sitting atop linguine that is tossed in a light but decadent lemon cream sauce. This dish comes together in minutes but tastes like a million bucks.
- 1 lb linguine (or pasta of choice)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lb jumbo lump crab
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Fresh herbs or microgreens, for garnish
- Grated or shaved parmesan or grana padana cheese
- Slices of lemon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until el dente, according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the cream and garlic clove to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and heat the cream until the edges just start to bubble – you don’t want it to boil. Season the cream with a pinch of salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes (if using). Keep the cream warm until the pasta is done.
- Remove and discard the garlic clove and then add the cooked pasta to the cream mixture and toss well to combine, adding a few splashes of the pasta water to help form a creamy sauce. I like to use tongs for this process.
- Keep tossing and stirring until the sauce thickens and coats the noodles well – this will take about 3 minutes. If it seems too runny, keep stirring and increase the heat just slightly to help the extra moisture evaporate. Be patient – it WILL thicken!
- Stir the crab in and remove the pan from the heat. Toss to combine the crab and warm it through. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper, adding as much as you need to meet your taste.
- Serve the pasta immediately, garnished with herbs, microgreens, shaved or grated cheese, and slices of lemon.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: pasta
Keywords: lemon cream linguine with crab, crab lemon linguine, quick and easy lemon cream pasta, crab pasta, summer pasta recipes