With sweet corn, plump cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and lump crab meat this vibrant crab pasta embodies the spirit Summer. It’s colorful, tasty, and sure to impress your family and friends any time you serve it up!
In the summertime, I love a bowl of pasta filled with peak-season produce like cherry tomatoes, corn and basil. To elevate the meal even further I fold in sweet lump crab meat, a bit of Old Bay seasoning and just enough butter to hold it all together. It’s luscious and decadent but still light and fresh enough be enjoyed on a hot day with a chilled glass of white wine or an icy Aperol Spritz!
If you don’t have crab meat readily available you could switch it up for shrimp, scallops, clams, oil-packed tuna or even lobster meat. Play around with different combinations and you will see how easy it is to use this recipe as a template and to swap one thing out for another.
Psst! If you’re a crab lover check out my Pimento Cheese Crab Dip Recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s everything you need to make this recipe: pasta (any shape works) fresh lump or jumbo lump crab meat, shallot, garlic, tomato paste, cherry tomatoes, corn, basil, Old Bay seasoning, butter, lemon and parmesan cheese.
*See recipe card for additional notes and ingredient substitutions.*
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Start the Sauce
Cook the tomatoes, garlic and shallot over medium-low heat just until everything softens and the shallot and garlic become translucent and aromatic. Add in the Old Bay and tomato paste as well. Stir every so often. While thats happening cook the pasta.
Step 2. Boil the Pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Simmer the pasta until it’s al dente. Save at least a cup of pasta water before draining. The starchy pasta water plays an important roll in the sauce.
Step 3. Serve
Add the cooked pasta and pasta water into the pan with the tomatoes–gently fold to combine. Just before you’re ready to serve fold in the butter, corn and crab meat. Divide the pasta between bowls and top with basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese. Dig in!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Fresh, lump, blue crabmeat is best for this recipe but it can be hard to find if you’re not on the East Coast. Crabmeat is often sold canned. If you’re going to go this route I suggest using a refrigerated canned lump crabmeat rather than shelf stable.
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Crab Pasta with Corn, Tomatoes and Basil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot minced
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning or Smoked Paprika
- 8 oz short-cut pasta
- 2 ears corn kernels cut from the cobs
- 8 oz lump, or jumbo-lump crab meat about 1 cup
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves
- parmesan cheese for serving
- Place a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, shallot, garlic, halved tomatoes, tomato paste and Old Bay all at once.
- Sauté all of the ingredients together, stirring frequently until the tomatoes begin release their juice and the shallot and garlic soften, about 7-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
- Add the pasta and pasta water to the pot with the corn and tomato mixture then gently fold in the corn, crab meat, lemon juice and butter. Give everything a good mix, taste and season with more salt or Old Bay as needed.
- As soon as the butter is melted and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed divide the pasta between bowls, top each bowl with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese. Serve immedietly!
- Crab: Fresh, lump, blue crabmeat is best for this recipe but it can be hard to find if you’re not on the East Coast. Crabmeat is often sold canned. If you’re going to go this route I suggest using a refrigerated canned lump crabmeat rather than shelf stable.
- Old Bay Seasoning: Paprika (smoked or sweet) can be substituted instead of Old Bay.
- Leftover Crab Pasta can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave. Add a few tablespoons of water to loosen up the sauce as needed.
This recipe came together quickly and very flavorful. I love the use of fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, basil, and jumbo lump crab. Reminded me of Maryland (home). It was good the next day as well.
Thank you Tiffany! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. xx Leigh