This pasta dish is something I came up with just before my oldest son returned to college a few weeks ago. As a poor college student, he always looks forward to eating at home, so I try to make it special, especially the last few days he’s with us.
My son loves crab in just about everything, so I decided to make crab pasta in a creamy tomato sauce, just a healthier version. Often crab pasta is made with heavy cream, and although it’s always a treat to eat something so decadent, I wanted to make a creamy pasta dish that was actually pretty light, but tasted rich and creamy.
The toasted garlicky bread crumbs on top make this crab pasta dish extra fun to eat. At first my boys were skeptical of these little crunchy bits, but I found them sneaking more on top.
Recently, I read in The Yogurt Cookbook by Arto Der Haroutunian that if you mix yogurt with an egg before adding it to a sauce, that the yogurt won’t separate. I’ve been using that trick in all sorts of recipes and it works great.
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for full-fat products in so many recipes, both cooking and baking. I’ve used it in dips and dressings, marinades, in macaroni and cheese, and in baked goods as a substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, butter and heavy cream.
In this Creamy Tomato Crab Pasta recipe, Greek yogurt replaces the heavy cream yet yields a rich creamy sauce.
When I told my son that there was yogurt in his pasta, he couldn’t believe it. I hope you’ll give this pasta recipe a try. It’s our new favorite.
- 1 pound dried gluten-free pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 slices gluten-free whole grain bread, processed into fine crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lump or jumbo fresh crab meat
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 large tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup Citron vodka
- ⅓ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 scallions, minced
- Place breadcrumbs, oil, and garlic in saute pan and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until browned and crunchy. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan; add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Remove half of the garlic from the pan and set aside. Add crab meat to pan and toss gently. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Return reserved garlic to pan and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and red pepper flakes; heat. Add tomatoes and cook until they break down, about 10 minutes. Add vodka and cook 3-4 minutes for flavor to get absorbed. Whisk together yogurt and egg in a small bowl; slowly whisk into tomatoes; heat through. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return pureed sauce to pan; season with salt and pepper. Add sauteed crab meat and heat through.
- Cook pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water.
- To serve, toss cooked pasta with Crab Pasta Sauce, adding some pasta water as needed to loosen up pasta. Sprinkle with scallions and Breadcrumb Topping just before serving.
Disclosure: Chobani sent me some Greek yogurt to experiment with and I’ve been having fun coming up with healthier recipes.