Thin Spaghetti with Crab and Asparagus


At Josephine Estelle in New Orleans, chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman serve this sublime, buttery crab pasta with homemade tajarin, a ribbon-type noodle. Thin spaghetti works nicely, too. Slideshow: More Spaghetti Recipes 

Thin Spaghetti with Crab and Asparagus
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 to 6


  • 1 pound thin spaghetti

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 2 basil sprigs, plus leaves for garnish

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat


  1. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until almost al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until the pasta is al dente and the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain well.

  2. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, melt the butter with the basil sprigs over moderate heat. Add the pasta and asparagus, the 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the pasta is coated in a light sauce, 3 to 5 minutes; add more of the cooking water if needed. Season the pasta generously with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the crab and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard the basil sprigs. Garnish with basil leaves and serve, passing more cheese at the table.

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