At Saffron in Walla Walla, Washington, Chris Ainsworth fills tiny Turkish dumplings called manti with Dungeness crab and thick yogurt. We shamelessly took the easy route, with store-bought pasta, and used yogurt as a sauce. But we kept the touch of saffron and fruity Aleppo pepper.
2 garlic cloves, crushed with 1/4 tsp. salt in a mortar and pestle
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound dried pappardelle pasta or 1 1/4 lbs. fresh fettuccine
1 pinch saffron threads
1/4 cup butter
3/4 pound shelled cooked Dungeness crab
1/2 cup loosely packed small fresh dill sprigs
About 2 tsp. Aleppo pepper*, Urfa biber*, or ground ancho chile
How to Make It
Combine labneh, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Set aside.
Cook pasta as package directs.
Meanwhile, pulverize saffron with a mortar and pestle. Add 1/2 cup hot pasta water and loosen saffron bits. Pour into a small saucepan, add butter, and heat until simmering; keep hot. Microwave labneh-lemon mixture until hot but not boiling, 1 minute. Rinse crab with hot water in a strainer to warm.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with saffron butter. Add labneh mixture, crab, half of dill, and a little Aleppo pepper and toss very loosely to mix slightly. Pour into a warm rimmed bowl. Sprinkle with remaining dill and a little more Aleppo pepper. Serve with more Aleppo pepper at the table.
*Find labneh at Middle Eastern markets, Aleppo pepper in some stores' spice aisles, and Aleppo and Urfa biber at worldspice.com
In one word: delicious!!! Wow, I didn't think crab could be improved on and this sauce really did a number on both of us. Didn't take the overnight route to drain the yogurt, just about 3 hours, but it really made a difference in the texture. Don't have a microwave, so heated sauce very gently on stove top and it still broke just a bit, but didn't make a difference in taste or texture. Use as much garlic as you want or like...added several more cloves as mine were small. Would love to make again, but may have to wait til next year to keep all the calories etc in line.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!