Quick, Easy -N- Fast Pasta with Crab Meat and Asparagus Recipe

2 T. butter
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. dry white wine
juice and finely-grated zest (the yellow part of the peel) of 1 small lemon
a pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 lb. asparagus, washed, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 2-inch lengths
3/4 lb. crab meat, preferably fresh Dungeness
1/2 C. chopped Italian (flat-leafed) parsley, or a mixture of parsley and another fresh herb, such as dill, tarragon, chives or basil
12 oz. fettuccine or other pasta
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 to 4 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling for the pasta. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan, and saute the garlic until it is translucent. Add the pepper flakes, wine and lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half.

Add the prepared asparagus to the pan, cover and steam until the asparagus is just tender-crisp. Add the crab meat and the lemon zest, and toss gently until thoroughly hot.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until barely tender. Drain and add it to the asparagus mixture, tossing to blend. Toss again with the chopped fresh herbs, transfer to a warmed serving bowl or plates, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


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