Dungeness Crab and Garlicky Yogurt Pasta

Dungeness Crab and Garlicky Yogurt Pasta Recipe
Photo: Maren Caruso; Styling: Nissa Quanstrom
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.


Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Recipe from


Nutritional Information

Calories 583
Caloriesfromfat 40 %
Protein 28 g
Fat 27 g
Satfat 13 g
Carbohydrate 60 g
Fiber 2.8 g
Sodium 575 mg
Cholesterol 74 mg


Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon 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


1. Combine labneh, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta as package directs.

3. 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.

4. 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

Recipe adapted from Chris Ainsworth,

Saffron, Walla Walla, Washington,


February 2013
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