Spaghetti with Crab, Thai Chili, and Lemon Breadcrumbs
Recipe by Rebekah Peppler
1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 lb spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Thai Birdseye chillies*, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 cup lump crab
juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
*Optional substitution: 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, and lemon zest until evenly combined. Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in the 350°F oven until golden brown (about 10 minutes, taking the baking sheet out halfway through baking and moving the breadcrumbs around). Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then set aside.
Note: made ahead of time, the breadcrumbs will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, until al dente. Drain through a colander, reserving about a cup of the of pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, then add sliced chili (or crushed red pepper flakes, if substituting) and 1 cup lump crab. Heat for about 30 seconds, until the crab is warmed through. Drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon, then add the cooked spaghetti and 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water. Toss to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, sprinkle with lemon breadcrumbs.