This weekend was the first time I've cooked in ages, hence the lack of new blog posts in weeks. Frankly life just kind of got away from me and I lost the desire to be in the kitchen. Cooking has always been a therapeutic experience for me. But the past several weeks were a whirlwind of changes. My birthday, traveling for work, getting very sick and seeing family and friends, that I lost my cooking mojo. But a very good friend of mine invited me out to East Hampton for the weekend and getting out of the city and into fresh air from the beach gave me the inspiration I was looking for to pick up my chef's knife again.
The house I was staying at was a small two bedroom cottage right off the main street in East Hampton. The owners obviously took a lot of care and thought to decorate the house beautifully.
It incorporated a mix of beach themed colors, sea shells, pieces of coral and nautical artwork. The kitchen was fully stocked with stainless steel appliances, a slate counter top and a fridge full of goodies. There was a stunning pool and a little sun room off to the side and a garden full of hydrangeas that every house seems to have in the Hamptons.
My first morning there, I made a zucchini omelet with basil and grated romano cheese. Lunch was fresh guacamole, a roasted chicken salad with sliced peaches and manchego cheese over mixed greens. For dinner I decided that the heirloom tomatoes sitting on the kitchen counter top were too good to pass up and would be perfect in a pasta. I told my friend that a crab linguini would be perfect and we stopped by Citarella to hunt for fresh lump crab. Crab is hands down one of my favorite things to eat and that's because I grew up in Virginia and eating steamed blue crab seasoned with Old Bay is a rite of passage. At $30 a pound, I decided that a half a pound was more than enough so we picked that up along with a box of dried linguini because we had everything else I needed back at the house.
This recipe will take about 20 minutes from start to finish. It's really easy and needs just a few fresh ingredients. I suggest filling a large pot with water and start boiling it. Then begin prepping the other ingredients and by the time you're ready to cook, the water will be at a rolling boil and when the pasta is done cooking, it will be at the right time to add it to your sauce to finish the dish.
Here's what you'll need for a dinner for two. You can easily double or triple this recipe if you're serving a larger group.
1/2 pound of fresh lump crab meat
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 large heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, turn on a medium flame and add the olive oil when heated. Add the garlic and saute, being careful not to burn it. Burned garlic is bitter so if it browns too quickly, throw it out and start over again as it will ruin the dish. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, carefully breaking down the tomatoes. This will take about 15 minutes.
When the pasta is done cooking (follow the recommended cooking times listed on the pasta box), add it to the tomatoes. It's OK if a little bit of the pasta water gets in there because there's starch in it and it will help thicken the sauce. Next add the fresh herbs and the crab.
Toss everything together in the pan, heating it through but also being careful to not break up the crab. You want to make sure the lump pieces stay in tact as much as possible. It just needs to be warmed up a bit as it's already cooked through.
Plate up the pasta and serve with a nice, juicy glass of Rose wine. At least that's what I did! Enjoy!