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Fettuccini served with Spicy Blue Crab Ragout

John Critchley – Executive Chef, Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar

Fettuccini served with Spicy Blue Crab Ragout


Serving Size: 6 people
Recipe adapted by John Critchley

1 pound dried fettuccini, or 2 pounds fresh
1 pound Maryland backfin lump crabmeat
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp harissa paste *
2 tbsp shallots, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh marjoram, lightly chopped


1 medium red pepper, diced
1 piece of sliced bread, fried in olive oil *
1 tsp chili powder
½ of a medium jalapeno, diced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt


Prepare the Rouille:

In a roasting pan, cook all the ingredients over medium heat for 30 minutes until everything has softened.

Puree in blender adding more olive oil if necessary until very smooth.

Set Aside.

To prepare the fettucine:

Cook the fettuccine, reserving a couple cups of pasta water for possible additions to the sauce later.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, sauté the shallots and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil for one minute over medium-high heat.

Add the harissa paste and white wine to the pan and reduce until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add the finished Rouille, unsalted butter, crabmeat and marjoram to the pan and toss, allowing the ingredients to warm up and the butter to melt.

Add cooked pasta to the pan. Add reserved pasta water as needed to ensure the sauce is not overly dry.

Pour the contents of the pan into a serving dish and enjoy!

* Harissa paste is a red pepper paste and should be available at most supermarkets. It can also be substituted with any red pepper paste available but make sure to check the spice level indicated on the package.

* I recommend a country-style or wheat bread. To fry the bread, pour a small amount of olive oil in a pan at high heat. Fry the bread in the olive oil, turning once or twice until sufficiently cooked through.