Farfalle with Crab and Shrimp

by Shirley Hodge
(Bangor, PA USA)

The Scottish Lassie who Loves Italian Food

The Scottish Lassie who Loves Italian Food

Years ago my Aunt and Uncle owned the only seafood only store in our town. They had an Italian lady who spoke very little English come in once a week and buy crab meat and fresh shrimp.

She did this every Friday morning for more than a year but because of her limited English they never got to know her beyond a good day and good bye.

One Friday morning a young man came in and asked for Mrs. Napolatano's usual order explaining that she had fallen and broken a leg and could not come herself.

My Aunt asked what it was that Mrs. Napolatano did with the crab and shrimp every week and the young man said she cooked her specialty for the family gathering every Saturday and that it was the favorite thing that she made. Aunt Mill asked if it were possible to get the recipe and the next week when the young man (her grandson as it turned out) returned for the order gave my aunt a hand written copy of this recipe.

It has been a family favorite or ours ever since. As for the white wine my family likes a not to dry wine as we lie the little sweetness but you can use a very dry if you prefer.


  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • Salt (about 2 tsp. for cooking water)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • One 3-inch piece lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron re-hydrated in tbsp of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 to 8 ounces lump crab meat, picked through for shells
  • 16 to 20 shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the cream, lemon peel and saffron to a low boil over medium-low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil, over medium heat. Stir in the shallot and garlic for 1 minute, then add the crab meat and shrimp; season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook until the shrimp are pink and just firm, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the wine.
    Discard the lemon from the cream and pour over the seafood.
  • Stir in the cayenne and turmeric.
  • Add the pasta and toss. Top with the parsley. 4 servings.

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