I’m starting to realize that I have some funny conceptions when cooking for a party. Most people I know would go to the store an hour before the happening and stock up on potato chips, dips, olives or whatever they feel like. I, on the other hand, obsess for a week about what I’m going to prepare. I also make my own bread and marinate my own olives. I don’t even think about it anymore.
On top of that, I have very bad assessment skills when it comes to optimizing quantities. No, let me rephrase that: I have abysmal assessment skills. I blame my Greek background. There should never be insufficient quantities of food available at a party! This inevitably leads to overeating and that well-known stuffed feeling. Ever since I went on a self-invented diet in order to slim down a bit, I’m hitting that feeling a lot sooner than I used to. That’s a good sign health-wise, but it does provide this gnawing feeling that I’m less of a man than I used to be. I quickly compensated that by buying a nice, big dSLR camera with a big lens. I’m the alpha male of the block again!
But seriously, after such parties, of which there have been too many lately, I crave for lighter meals that don’t require umpteen intermediate steps to prepare. Enter light pastas and simple curries. Our usual quick and dirty pasta fix consists of thickening a couple of tins of tomatoes with spicy garlic oil, yet sometimes we crave for something a bit more complex. I was delighted to find this recipe for a crab and tomato pasta, which I altered ever so slightly to our taste.
I’m not sure if the original recipe required fresh crab, but since fresh is unavailable here I used canned crab. It might be heresy, but so be it; it was still delicious. This would be perfect for one of those holidays in a beach cottage, where fresh seafood is abundant. One of those fun trips I seem to be dreaming of a lot these days. Where everyone is happily cooking and eating outside on the patio.
Spaghetti con granchio e pomodoro
Recipe almost entirely taken from the Simple Kitchen Seasons blog.
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
- A can of chopped San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup fish stock
- A can of 210gr king crab meat (or fresh crab if you’re lucky enough)
- Some parsley and mint, chopped together
- (Fresh) spaghetti
Heat the olive oil with the garlic over medium heat, until it turns golden. Add the red pepper flakes and give the pan a couple of swirls to mix. Continue by adding both the stock and the tomatoes, and let simmer for fifteen minutes until the sauce thickens. In the meantime, cook your spaghetti according to instructions. I added the liquid from the crab to the cooking water. When the sauce is thickened and your spaghetti is al dente (which you will have timed perfectly), add the pasta and crab meat to the sauce, together with a splash of the pasta cooking water (this will also partly salt the sauce). Add some more salt if needed, plate, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and mint (to taste).