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Citrus Butter Crab with Ricotta Gnudi

Early Summer 2021
F202103010.jpg
food and drink

BY: Alison Kent

Wild-caught king crab from northern Pacific waters and Dungeness crab are both good options in this recipe. When purchasing frozen king crab in the shell, 1 ¼ lbs (565 g) should yield around 12‑oz (340 g) meat. Gnudi differs from gnocchi in that it is made with ricotta cheese rather than potato. Ricotta lends a sweeter note, while the texture is a tad more tender and “ pillowy.” Gnudi is quicker to pull together and takes less effort, too.

GNUDI
2 large eggs
1 tub (475 g) whole-milk ricotta
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry vermouth (or reserved gnudi cooking liquid)
2 tsp (10 mL) orange zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh orange juice
4 tsp (20 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lightly crushed fennel seed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes (optional)
12 oz (340 g) thawed shelled jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shell bits
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed spinach leaves
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs; stir in ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Stir in fl our just until combined. Turn dough out onto the lightly floured surface and divide into quarters. With floured hands, roll into ropes about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces to make about 100 total, tossing with additional flour as needed to keep gnudi from sticking. Roll into balls or, to make the sauce- hugging grooves, gently press each piece over the back of flour-dusted fork tines while rolling slightly. Place gnudi on a floured tray and be ready to cook them right away. See TIP.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook half the gnudi until tender but firm and floating, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer gnudi to the lightly oiled tray. Repeat to cook the remaining gnudi. Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) cooking water.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to foam, 3 to 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) reserved cooking liquid, vermouth, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, fennel seed and hot pepper flakes, if using. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Add gnudi, stirring to coat. Cook until a lightly thickened sauce forms, adding a bit more cooking water if needed until loose and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Stir in crab and spinach; cook until crab is warmed through and spinach is just wilted 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon into pasta bowls and sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 6

TIP Cooked gnudi can be cooled, tossed in a touch of oil and refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days in advance. Or freeze on a wax paper-lined tray before transferring to a resealable bag. To reheat, boil for 1 minute (2 minutes for frozen) before draining and tossing with sauce.

F202103010.jpg
food and drink

Citrus Butter Crab with Ricotta Gnudi

Early Summer 2021

BY: Alison Kent

Wild-caught king crab from northern Pacific waters and Dungeness crab are both good options in this recipe. When purchasing frozen king crab in the shell, 1 ¼ lbs (565 g) should yield around 12‑oz (340 g) meat. Gnudi differs from gnocchi in that it is made with ricotta cheese rather than potato. Ricotta lends a sweeter note, while the texture is a tad more tender and “ pillowy.” Gnudi is quicker to pull together and takes less effort, too.

GNUDI
2 large eggs
1 tub (475 g) whole-milk ricotta
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry vermouth (or reserved gnudi cooking liquid)
2 tsp (10 mL) orange zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh orange juice
4 tsp (20 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lightly crushed fennel seed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes (optional)
12 oz (340 g) thawed shelled jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shell bits
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed spinach leaves
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs; stir in ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Stir in fl our just until combined. Turn dough out onto the lightly floured surface and divide into quarters. With floured hands, roll into ropes about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces to make about 100 total, tossing with additional flour as needed to keep gnudi from sticking. Roll into balls or, to make the sauce- hugging grooves, gently press each piece over the back of flour-dusted fork tines while rolling slightly. Place gnudi on a floured tray and be ready to cook them right away. See TIP.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook half the gnudi until tender but firm and floating, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer gnudi to the lightly oiled tray. Repeat to cook the remaining gnudi. Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) cooking water.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to foam, 3 to 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) reserved cooking liquid, vermouth, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, fennel seed and hot pepper flakes, if using. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Add gnudi, stirring to coat. Cook until a lightly thickened sauce forms, adding a bit more cooking water if needed until loose and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Stir in crab and spinach; cook until crab is warmed through and spinach is just wilted 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon into pasta bowls and sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 6

TIP Cooked gnudi can be cooled, tossed in a touch of oil and refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days in advance. Or freeze on a wax paper-lined tray before transferring to a resealable bag. To reheat, boil for 1 minute (2 minutes for frozen) before draining and tossing with sauce.

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