Having a dinner party this weekend? Need something sorta special but you want to observe Lenten fasting on Friday night? Open a bottle of pinot grigio and try this fabulous dish!
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup finely minced jalapeno chiles
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
freshly ground black pepper
12 spears asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1 pound dried angel hair pasta (capellini)
12 ounces Dungeness crabmeat
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the garlic, and saute until tender but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Add jalapenos, green onions, mustard, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until jalapenos are tender, about 2 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the asparagus until tender, 3-4 minutes, then scoop out the spears, reserving boiling water, and dunk in ice bath. Set on paper towels to drain. Return water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, pick through the crabmeat to remove any bits of shell. Put it in a small saucepan or skillet and warm gently (add 1-2 tablespoon of water if the crab seems dry) over medium heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain it. Return the pasta to the pot and pour the jalapeno mixture over it. Add the cheese and toss to evenly mix. To serve, arrange a bed of pasta on each plate and top with warmed crab. Scatter the bell pepper and basil over, garnish with asparagus, and serve right away.
Recipe adapted from Celebrate the Rain by the Junior League of Seattle.