Recipe: Tagliatelle con Molecche Picatta


All throughout June, Chef Kenny Tufo at Casa Nonna is celebrating the Italian region of Campagnia, home of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, with a special four course menu highlighting the dishes and fresh ingredients of the area.

He provided us the recipe for tagliatelle con molecche picatta, a fresh pasta with soft shell crab in a lemon caper sauce. Turn the page.

Tagliatelle con Molecche Picatta
Fresh pasta with soft shell crab in a lemon caper sauce
From Casa Nonna
Serves 2

Four small soft shell crabs
12 oz. fresh tagliatelle or linguine
Juice from two lemons
Two cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
Buttermilk (enough to cover the four crabs)
Two garlic cloves, minced
Chili pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped
Canola oil (for frying)
One tablespoon capers
Two tablespoons butter
Olive oil

1) Clean the soft shell crabs – pull out the gills, cut off the head and the rear end. Rinse and soak them in the buttermilk for one hour.

2) Pour enough canola oil to cover crabs into a deep pan and heat up to 350 degrees. Mix the flour and corn starch and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the soft shell crabs in the mixture, then deep fry for about two minutes, until they are nice and crispy. Salt them and put the side.

3) Heat up olive oil in a sauté pan, then add garlic and chili pepper. When garlic starts to color, pour wine and reduce by half. Add lemon juice, crabs, capers and parsley. Swirl for thirty seconds and set aside.

4) In boiling salted water (enough to taste like the sea) cook the pasta until al dente. Put the sauce back on the heat, adding the pasta and one tablespoon of the pasta water. Swirl in the butter then season with salt and pepper.