In the immediate wake of the New Year’s holiday where the most beloved tradition next to getting schnockered on bubbly and slobbering into party noisemakers is making a solemn and resolute promise to one’s self to eat less and exercise more; we celebrate the holiest of all diet-demolishing carbs, spaghetti. January 4th is National Spaghetti Day. How did America come to eat and love so much spaghetti? Of course we have the massive wave of Italian immigrants from the 1800s through the 1900s to thank for that. Spaghetti and other pastas were and still are a cheap way to cook copious amounts of food for poor yet growing families new to America trying to make new lives. Struggle, poverty, and survival make up the mud that nourished the roots of what is now a favorite American food from coast to coast. How many families today still have Spaghetti & Meatball night? How many of those families are not’t even Italian? Spaghetti is just as traditional as hamburgers and hot dogs and for that reason we should all put off our ‘getting healthier’ resolutions until we have an honorary spaghetti meal. The greatest prospect of spaghetti is the innumerable flavor profiles you can create without making a trip to the grocery store if you don’t want to. If can pilfer some garlic, olive oil, and spices from your cupboard you have the proper ingredients for the traditional Italian aglio e olio; a hearty and satisfying spaghetti plate. And the possibilities just amass from there! Your favorite sauces, vegetables, and proteins all can be easily tossed with spaghetti. Its a hit of a dish again and again.
Growing up Italian-American, I have been making my own spaghetti sauce since the tender age of ten. In fact, I have a photo of my first full dinner I made from scratch including the spaghetti and meatballs! To commemorate my own personal spaghetti journey and in celebration of the holiday I would like to share my personal favorite spaghetti dish presently, Crab with Tomato & Butter Spaghetti Rigati. Initially when making this dish I wanted the best fresh crab I could find in Orlando so I took a trip to Lombardi’s Seafood in Winter Park located on Orange Ave. When I arrived I was utterly tickled by both their fresh and frozen seafoods selection.
Snapshot of Lombardi’s fresh catches case. Cutest price labels ever!
Unfortunately on the day I was shopping Lombardi’s had sold completely out of fresh lump crab meat! I was not’t frustrated though. Really I was excited to know our fish market is so busy with customers eager to buy crab! Plan B was set into action and I purchased canned lump crab meat for my spaghetti meal and some of their seaweed salad to eat as our green. Without further ado, I give you Crab with Tomato & Butter Spaghetti Rigati recipe…
Serving : 2
- 1/2 lb. Spaghetti Rigati
- 1/2 lb. lump crab meat, fresh is preferred.
- 1/2 lb. butter
- 3-4 medium vine-ripened tomato
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6-8 large basil leaves, chopped. Reserve smaller leaves for garnish.
- Core and coarsely chop tomatoes. I did mine in the food processor. Set aside.
- Quarter onion, set aside.
- Begin melting butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted add a handful of crab meat, a tablespoon of chopped basil, and onion quarters. Let cook about 5 minutes.
- Add chopped garlic cloves. Let cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes all at once. Turn heat up to medium. Let cook and reduce to a simmer for 5-7 more minutes.
- Start the water for the pasta. Add pasta when water begins to boil.
- Add the remainder of the crab meat and chopped basil to the tomato and butter sauce. Let cook another 4-5 minutes on a low simmer.
- Drain the pasta.
- Mix the sauce and pasta together, garnish with small basil leaves, and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese!
The final dish to be devoured for National Spaghetti Day.
For more info: Or to read more about my long love affair with this spaghetti dish, please visit my blog, Laptops and Stovetops.