Photo: Maren Caruso; Styling: Nissa Quanstrom
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

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

Step 2

Cook pasta as package directs.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

*Find labneh at Middle Eastern markets, Aleppo pepper in some stores' spice aisles, and Aleppo and Urfa biber at

Saffron, Walla Walla, Washington

Ratings & Reviews

YvetteNM's Review

June 06, 2013

sarahmorgan013's Review

May 19, 2013

liafinney's Review

February 07, 2013
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.