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country ham and crab cavatelli

Country ham and crab make quite the dynamic duo. Picture this: rich, sweet crab paired with salty country ham, all tossed together with velvety fresh pasta. Shallots, garlic and whichever pretty vegetables you have on hand will melt into olive oil (I recommend Olinda olive oil) and butter. Once the vegetables have softened, country ham and crab come into play, along with white wine and lemon. If you have some last minute guests, or you are working up an appetite and are craving a quick bite, you can keep the dynamic duo extra simple: country ham and crab warmed in a skillet of browned butter and a little Olinda olive oil , served in ramekins as an appetizer. Fresh lemon zest and juice at the very end add brightness and tang. Do what makes you happy. My country ham and crab cavatelli pasta recipe has become one of my favorite dishes to serve at a dinner party. Go to your butcher, if you can, and ask for country ham. Otherwise, Harris Teeter carries Goodnight Brothers brand country ham for $5 or so. You can also use diced ham if you can't find country ham. No cavatelli? No problem. Pick whichever pasta you like! Please check out my recipe below! I also have a reel on my instagram, @LaurenSFurey.

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup sliced shallots, about 2 shallots

2 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup dry white wine

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 lb country ham, thinly sliced

1/2 pound lump crabmeat (not jumbo lump, shell pieces discarded)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound fresh cavatelli pasta, or whichever shape you like!

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, measure with your heart

Kosher salt, to taste (I do not typically add it as the ham is salty enough to me)

Fresh herbs, optional (parsley, chives...)

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil.

In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and black pepper. Cook until softened. Add white wine and lemon juice and cook until partially evaporated, about three minutes. Add country ham, crabmeat and butter. Cook until well combined. In the boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. When al dente, using a slotted spoon, remove pasta from water and stir into the crab and ham mixture. Stir in the lemon zest and top with grated cheese and fresh herbs, if you like. Serve hot!


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