Friday, September 7, 2012

Pappardelle with Crab, Buttered Artichokes and Mint

Pasta. Unlikely duos. Flipping through a cook book is like channel surfing AND THEN YOU STOP. You put down the remote. And read on about a perfect combination of ingredients. That's what Tyler Florence does for food. It makes me take pause.

I love this ingredient list. Each item has it's place. Nothing is over-shadowed. It's a perfect performance with all the flavors shining brightly but complimenting one another.

Pappardelle with Crab, Buttered Artichokes and Mint
(By Tyler Florence out of Tyler's Ultimate)  serves 4

1 pound pappardelle noodles

4 tbls unsalted butter

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 can (approx. 16 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and halved

Finely grated zest from half a lemon

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 pint (8 oz) lump crab meat

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish

Do you have other foodie friends? Do you ever exchange cook books? So fun. Thanks Matt and Jenn.

Addicted to post-its.

Crab. Not your everyday fare. Get it as fresh as possible. And save your pennies. It's not cheap, but in a large pasta dish, a little goes a long way. Every now and then, a girl's gotta be fancy-shmancy.

Prep your ingredients. Artichoke hearts should chop into 6-8 pieces.

Get your Parm grated.

You'll need a pot of water for your noodles. My sister had an ah-ha moment with pasta this weekend while I was visiting. She said no matter what she did, her noodles would stick together. I asked her exactly HOW she was cooking them, step by step. It's in the little things. I think we solved the problem. Water temp is VERY important.

1) Bring ENOUGH water to a boil. You can never have too much water, but you can have too little.

2) When it comes to a raging boil, salt the water well. Not like salting your eggs, but salting your pool. I pour out of my Morton's container for about 2 full seconds.

3) Add noodles. Give a stir. Put the lid on. Set your desired timer for al dente. You want to bring the boil back immediately. After about 15 seconds, it will reappear.

4) Take lid back off, give a stir to separate any noodles picking on one another. You're the teacher.

5) You can turn the heat down a touch, but if the boil becomes a "glub-glub" turn 'er back up.

While your noodles are boiling, in a large pan over medium heat add your butter/olive oil combo.

Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and add it to the skillet. We want some of that starch.

Reduce the whole thing for 5 min to thicken it.

Then add your arties and seasonings including the lemon zest.

Next add that lump crab.

The smell is sweet, savory and everything perfect.

When you pasta is done, drain immediately and pour the pan sauce over it. The naked noodles cannot wait to get dressed up in this goodness.

Lastly, add your Parm and mint. Do not leave out the mint. It is SO fantastic. It's like watching a Broadway production and while the actors are phenomenal, you just can't stop thinking about the music. Musical mint in your mouth.

Finish with any extra Parm, salt and pepper needed.

Up close and personal.

No more crabbiness, it's time to eat!


  1. Sounds really yummy! Bon Appetit had a 'how to' article for pasta dishes sometime within the last year, and the steps are very close to yours, including adding the pasta water. That's the secret to silky pasta!

  2. Funny. I was just revisiting my copy of this cookbook-- which is AUTOGRAPHED, by the way. Love me some Tyler Florence. What I like about Tyler, is just as you said. He knows how to combine ingredients that work together in harmony. LOVE his recipes-- and they really are user-friendly, just like Ina Garten. I love parpardelle, and artichokes, and mint. Hubs doesn't like the latter two ingredients, but I'm slowly working on converting him. I'll have to bookmark this one, because pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods. (Hmmm, I wonder if he'll show up at Foodbuzz again?)