Squid Ink Pasta with Fresh Dungeness Crab and Cream Sauce

Recipe by Mitch Temple and Gracie Schatz

Recipe by Mitch Temple and Gracie Schatz

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes  Difficulty: Easy


1 large Shallot*, diced

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 large leek, cleaned, tougher top discarded, diced

1 fennel bulb, fronds set aside for garnish, bulb diced

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

¾ lb freshly picked Dungeness crab meat*

¼ cup butter

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan or grana padano cheese*

¼ cup dry white wine (like vernaccia di san gimignano)*

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 package squid ink tagliolini* 

1 large lemon*

In a large pot, bring a half  gallon of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons of sea salt. While your water is heating, melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the butter is starting to bubble, add diced shallot, leek, fennel bulb and garlic and increase the heat. Cook until they are golden brown and start to stick to the bottom of the pan, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Add your dry white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Add heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Add half of your grated Parmesan or grana padano and the teaspoon of chili flakes. Continue to simmer until your pasta water boils. Add pasta to boiling water. Once your pasta is cooking, add the fresh Dungeness crab meat to the cream sauce. The pasta will cook for 3-6 minutes (depending on how al dente you like it). Right before you strain the pasta, add a ¼ cup of the pasta water to your sauce, this will help it stick to the pasta. Taste your sauce, add salt or more chili flake if you like! Toss your strained squid ink pasta in your crab and cream sauce, add chives, the zest and juice of the lemon and garnish with fennel frond and the remaining grated cheese. This dish is rich and decadent, it pairs beautifully with a crisp, bright and dry white wine like an Arneis* or dry Riesling*. Make sure to serve it with a nice fresh salad. Enjoy!


*= items that can be procured at Newman’s Fish Market