Calamarata is a pasta named for its tubular shape, which resembles that of calamari rings. Although it doesn’t do a great job at holding sauces due to its smoothed ridgeless exterior, when cooked al dente, it does wonders at providing that perfect bouncy chew in a slightly more brothy sauce. Enter this spicy crab number: the sauce is a light tomato base built with the help of wine, butter, good olive oil and aromatics such as garlic and fennel. I skip the step of extracting my own crab meat and opt for a good quality and trusted canned or frozen product. Finished with a good squeeze of lemon and fresh dill, this pasta comes together in less than 20 minutes!
Spicy Crab Calamarata 7 Steps
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and begin cooking the calamarata pasta, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking.
Heat a wide skillet on medium heat, add in the olive oil and half of the unsalted butter. Begin sweating the sliced garlic cloves and sliced fennel for about 5-6 minutes until softened and translucent, season lightly with salt and pepper.
Add in the sliced finger chilies and cook for another 2 minutes.
Deglaze with the white wine, turn the heat to high and allow to reduce for 2 minutes.
Add in the remaining unsalted butter as well as the canned cherry tomatoes, using the back of a spoon to break them up in the pan. Allow to continue to cook on high heat for another 1-2 minutes. At this point the pasta should be nearing al dente stage, if your pasta is still far off simply turn the sauce to very low heat to simmer while the pasta continues to cook.
Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before straining. Add the strained and cooked pasta to the simmering sauce and mix to combine.
Zest the lemon and add a good squeeze of the juice to the pasta. Add in the chopped dill and mix to combine, adjust seasoning once more before transferring to a serving platter.