Oh, sugar snap peas, you pretty little things, you. You are back in season! Which means I can buy heaps of you at my farm market and snack on you while I am tossing you into every recipe that calls for anything green. Don’t tell the regular old green beans, but there’s something about your slightly sweet and crunchy selves that has you at the very top of my favorite summer veggie list, duking it out with the tomatoes and the corn. And since the tomatoes and the corn aren’t ready yet, it’s sugar snap peas time in my kitchen. As in, pasta tossed with butter, crabmeat and, yes, a whole mess of sugar snaps!
You can usually find sugar snaps somewhere near the regular green beans and the snow peas. Sugar snaps are wider than green beans and plumper than snow peas, and they are perfect for dipping into your favorite summer dip, tossing into salads, and I love, love, love them in this easy pasta dish.
I used lump crabmeat for this one, and since I always get sticker shock when I buy crabmeat, if you want to substitute chopped or baby shrimp or even shredded cooked chicken, both will work just fine. But there’s something about the sweet and briny taste of crabmeat that tastes like summer to me, and so every once in a while I just close my eyes and toss it in the cart. As for the sugar snaps, I like to cut them in half on the diagonal for this recipe, both because that makes them bite-sized, and because they look so pretty this way.
Anyway, here’s how this lickety-split recipe goes: Cook up some pasta (a short pasta like ziti or campanelle works best for this dish) and scoop out a little pasta water before you drain it. Now pour the pasta into a large deep skillet along with the crabmeat, the sugar snaps and some butter. Stir it all around until everything is mixed together and warm and melted. Now add some grated Parmesan and a little of the pasta water to make a light sauce. A little salt and pepper, and there you have it. Sugar snap summer on a plate!
- 8 ounces short pasta (ziti, penne, campanelle, etc)
- 8 ounces lump crabmeat (you can also use cooked baby shrimp or shredded chicken)
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, cut in half on the diagonal
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving a cup of the cooking water before you drain it.
- Add pasta, crab, sugar snaps and butter to a large deep skillet. Stir everything together over medium heat until well mixed and butter is melted.
- Add parmesan and just enough pasta water to make a light sauce (you may not need it all). Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at once.