Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lemon Basil Pesto with Dungeness Crab

From pesto
Dinner on Saturday was going to be lemon pesto pasta and crab cakes... but who knew canned crab could go bad? Apparently about 4-5 years in my pantry was too much! Luckily we had bought a tiny bit of fresh crab as well. The small (but expensive - $9 for 100 grams!)amount was just enough to add to give a great deal of flavour and added colour to our pasta dish! If you don't have pine nuts, walnuts will also work well!

Pesto Sauce
4 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of four large lemons
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup or more grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Pasta for four

Crab Mixture
12 oz fresh or canned crab
1 small onion
1/2 red pepper

What to do

Wash and lightly dry basil (salad spinner works well).
Place basil in food processor.
Add zest and lemon juice.
Add garlic if using.
Pulse or mix or med low.
Slowly add oil.
Add cheese and pine nuts.
Pulse or mix until desired consistency is reached.
Salt and pepper to taste.
The pesto can be made in advanced if desired. When ready to use, heat sauce in medium sauce pan.

Cook pasta as directed.

Crab Mixture
Heat saute pan on medium heat.
Add 1 - 2 tbsp oil.
Saute onion and pepper until translucent - about 4 minutes.
Add crab and heat about a minute or two until heated through.

To plate
Place serving of pasta on plate, top with pesto, and crab mixture. Add additonal cheese and pine nuts if desired.
From pesto
Please note:
Using a food processor produces a very fresh tasting and course pesto. It definitely brings the basil to the forefront of the flavours.

If you prefer a smoother, more mellow pesto use a blender instead.

Also, if you want to cut the oil replace some it with water, more lemon juice or even vegetable or chicken stock!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! That looks delicious! Beautiful presentation!