There is no hiding the fact that this is a Louisiana recipe.  It is adapted from a series of recipes by Emeril Lagasse, in which he uses fettuccine, linguine, and spaghetti, some featuring crab, crawfish, ham, or all three.  Louisiana crawfish can be special ordered at your grocer’s meat counter and we like the ones that are already triple washed, but live.  Frozen tails are not a bad second choice, but we like them in the shell.  They get a bit dried out and freezer burned if they are just the tail meat flash-frozen, but if that is what you can find, it’ll work.  Of course, the best ones are caught by yourself, but we don’t have enough in these parts to make much of a meal, but my daughter and have tried.  My wife makes nearly the same dish with talapia.

Prep Time:  25 min

Cook Time:  15 min

4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 6 green chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 pound linguine or fettuccine
  • French sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 12 ounces cooked crawfish tails
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • Creole Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Directions

In a medium saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil and add the red bell pepper, jalapenos, and habaneros. Cook, stirring until soft, about 2 minutes. Transfer peppers and remaining vegetable oil to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

In a large (14-inch) saute pan, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the chili oil and saute the shallots and garlic until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, crawfish, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the chives and cook, stirring, until wine is nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds. Season the crawfish mixture with Essence and salt, to taste. Add the heavy cream and cook until reduced to a consistency thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the crabmeat and Parmesan to the cream sauce and stir to blend. Add the drained pasta and cook, tossing to thoroughly combine, until pasta is warmed through. (Add a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water if necessary to thin sauce). Taste and adjust seasoning with more Essence, chili oil, and salt, to taste.

Serve pasta in shallow wide pasta bowls, garnished with remaining parsley and chives. Drizzle the hot chili oil around the perimeter of the pasta and serve immediately.