Pasta with Creamy, Spicy Crab Sauce
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, cored and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 pound crab meat, picked over for any shells
- 1 pound long pasta such as linguini, fettucini, or bucatini
Warm olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add onions. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes then add fennel. Continue to sauté for another 6-8 minutes until onion and fennel begin to brown.
Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the red pepper and basil. Stir to coat with oil. Raise heat to high and stir constantly.
Pour in the wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate: 1 minute. Lower heat and add the clam juice and tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer the sauce for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and tomato paste. Add to the simmering sauce and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Mix in the cheese and then add the crab meat and stir carefully to incorporate. Cook until heated through, 2-3 more minutes. Serve atop pasta.