Val’s Chipotle Pasta with Crab Cakes – Tasty Thursday

As you have probably surmised through my posts, I am a stress cooker.  Some people like to eat or drink or smoke…I cook.

Yeah, I COOK.


And not necessarily for myself.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spent in the kitchen when I was in law school as a single mom at 35.  There is no better therapy to me than turning up the music and cooking.

And I absolutely adore seafood.  I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like without shellfish.  It makes my heart hurt to think about it.  I think it would be like being allergic to bacon… DISASTROUS.

Some of God's little gifts for my belly.

Some of God’s little gifts for my belly.

So the other day I decided I wanted to try to recreate one of my favorite dishes from a great restaurant in Atlantic Beach, NC.  I knew in my head what I wanted to make, but I wasn’t sure where to start.

I found one of Paula Deen’s recipes for crab cakes, so I decided to start there.  I love to make crab cakes, but I have never actually used a recipe.  It usually has just involved stale hamburger buns and some crab meat because I make them at the river and stale hamburger buns are always around for some reason.

Crab cakes before mixing

Crab cakes before mixing

This recipe uses Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs.  Definitely worth making.  I used a red pepper rather than a green pepper in mine.  I read a lot of the reviews and saw that a lot of people complained about the crab cakes being too runny.  I followed the advice of some who said not to add more crackers.  Instead I shaped the crab cakes and put them in the fridge to congeal a little before frying them.  They came out beautifully and I would not change a thing.

Frying them up in peanut oil.

Frying them up in peanut oil.

Now for the fun part of the dinner… I made pasta with a chipotle cream sauce.  And it turned out absolutely PERFECT.

How perfect?  Joe actually ate a little and said, “THIS is why we never need to go out to dinner again.”  Yes, it is expensive because of the crab meat, but well worth the money and I ate the crab cakes for DAYS.  So here it is…

Val’s Chipotle Pasta with Crab Cakes

Pasta – Cook a box of Penne Pasta until al dente and drain.

Veggies for Pasta – Chop up half a red onion and half a red pepper.  Cut the corn off of two ears of corn.

Heat about a Tbsp of oil (I used about 2 Tbsp of bacon grease I had leftover from breakfast instead – YUM) in a pan and saute veggies until tender and set aside.

Prepared veggies for the pasta

Prepared veggies for the pasta

I cooked the spinach WITH the veggies and think they wilted too much... I will do it differently next time.

I cooked the spinach WITH the veggies and think they wilted too much… I will do it differently next time.

Sauce for Pasta – Heat three Tbsp of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Saute two small minced shallots in butter.  Take a can of chipotle peppers and seed & chop 5 chipotle peppers.  Add peppers, 1 Tbsp of the chipotle adobo sauce, 1/2 a glass of dry white wine, and 2 cups of half and half.  Let simmer and stir constantly until it thickens.

When sauce has thickened, add veggies and continue to stir.  Add a container of uncooked spinach (I think my container was 4 oz) and stir until spinach has wilted to your liking.  Add pasta and a handful of chopped cilantro.



Serve with crab cakes for an AMAZING DINNER!!!!  I have to say that I outdid myself on this one.  I can’t wait to have a dinner party soon so I can serve this to my friends!