Fettuccine Pontchartrain

I’m not sure who did it first, but the combination of Louisiana crabmeat lumps with fettuccine and an Alfredo-style sauce is inspired and irresistible. This one takes it another step further, with a soft-shell crab (or even better, a buster crab) on top. It makes a good appetizer or entree. By the way, the thinner the fettuccine, the better this dish is.

Soft shell crab with fettuccine

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • 1 lb. white crabmeat
  • 1 lb. (precooked weight) fettuccine, cooked al dente
  • 6 small soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

1. Melt butter in skillet and sauté onions for one minute, then add garlic and sauté until fragrant.

2. Add cream, salt, and cayenne. Allow to reduce for one to two minutes, then stir in the Romano cheese until it disappears into the cream. Add the crabmeat and cook for another minute, agitating the pan to mix the ingredients. Remove from heat.

3. Add cooked, drained fettuccine and toss with sauce. Divide among six plates and top with a fried soft shell crab (instructions below).

4. To fry the crabs, rinse and dry them very well with paper towels. Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or saucepan to 375 degrees. Season flour with salt and pepper, and dredge crabs through to coat. Drop crabs in oil two at a time and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until serving.

Serves six.

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