Linguine with Crab in Spicy White Wine Sauce

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Briny juices from cracked crab legs deepen the flavor of a white wine sauce punctuated with pancetta and chiles. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Corey Arnold's article Polar Harvest.


  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Fresno or 2 Holland chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 lb. precooked king or snow crab legs, defrosted if frozen, cut into 3″ pieces and cracked using a mallet
  • 13 cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. fresh juice


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook linguine until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta water; set aside. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Step 2

Return skillet to medium heat and add garlic and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3–4 minutes. Increase heat to high; add crab and wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until crab is bright red and heated through, 3–4 minutes. Add pasta, reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper; using tongs, toss until pasta is coated in sauce. Add reserved pancetta, half the parsley and chives, the lemon zest and juice; toss to combine. Transfer pasta to a serving dish; drizzle with remaining oil and garnish with remaining parsley and chives.

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