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Thin Spaghetti with Crab and Asparagus

Thin Spaghetti with Crab and Asparagus

Total 30 min; Serves 4 to 6


– 1 lb. thin spaghetti

– 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

– 1 stick unsalted butter

– 2 basil sprigs, plus leaves for garnish

– ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

– Kosher salt and pepper

– 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat


1.       In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until almost al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until the pasta is al dente and the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain well.

2.       Meanwhile in a very large skillet, melt the butter with the basil sprigs, over moderate heat. Add the pasta and asparagus, the ¼ cup of cheese and ½ cup of the cooking water. Cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the pasta is coated in a light sauce, 3 to 5 minutes; add more of the cooking water if needed. Season the pasta generously with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the crab and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard the basil sprigs. Garnish with basil leaves and serve, passing more cheese at the table.