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Black Rigatoni Pasta with King Crab and Fresno Chilies

Scott Conant's Black Rigatoni Pasta with King Crab
Scott Conant's Black Rigatoni Pasta with King CrabNathan Congleton / TODAY


Lobster broth (makes about 2 quarts)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 lobster shells and small claws (from 2 lobsters), body chopped lengthwise and then into thirds, plus the shells from king crab legs as well)
  • 2 pounds king crab legs, cooked
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 lightly smashed and 1 sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, seeded and finely diced tomato
  • 1/2 Fresno chili sliced thin, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup lobster broth (recipe above)
  • 10 ounces black rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Chef notes

Serve your sweetheart an elegant, delicious and romantic dinner with this flavorful crab-filled pasta.

Swap option: If you can't find black rigatoni, you can use regular rigatoni or any other short pasta.


For the lobster broth:


Crack the crab legs and remove the meat from the shell. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces and reserve. (If not using the crab meat right away, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)


Heat a convection oven to 350°F or a conventional oven to 375°F.


Heat the olive oil in a small roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown. Add the lobster and crab shells and the 2 smashed garlic cloves. Roast the shells in the oven, stirring occasionally to make sure everything is roasting evenly, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pan to the stove. Add the tomatoes and the sliced garlic and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is almost gone, 7 to 10 minutes.


Transfer everything to a large stock pot and add enough water to cover, about 3 quarts. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until broth is rich and full of flavor, about 45 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. The broth can be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for longer.

For the pasta:


Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.


Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic, crushed red pepper and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the green onion, diced tomato, Fresno chilies and the lobster broth. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.


Cook the black rigatoni until al dente. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the sauté pan and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the crab, basil, parsley and another 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook over medium heat, stirring gently just to combine, until the crab is just warmed through, about 5-6 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt, if needed, and a few grinds of black pepper. Divide the pasta among four plates and serve.