I had a version of this dish at a new place in my town that serves everything small plate/tapas style. They used perfectly sauteed soft-shell crab, house-made pasta and I honestly wished that the room had cleared and it was just me and the bucatini. But alas, no. I hang with a bunch of ravenous friends who apparently had a similar fantasy. I woke up the next day with a plan.
I think this has very strong potential to become one of your top 10 favorite pasta dishes. It's wicked easy (as my Bostonian brother-in-law would say) and tastes equally good hot or cold. I love the sweet-lushness of jumbo lump crab but you could substitute claw. I suggest using unapologetically macho bucatini but feel free to use linguine or whatever strand pasta shape floats your boat. No matter, it's going to be delicious.
bucatini with jumbo lump crab, chili and arugula
1 lb bucatini
1 lb jumbo lump crab
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
juice and zest of a lemon
a handful or two of baby arugula
a glass of wine (for you to drink while you cook)
Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and dress with some olive oil and salt.
Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the crab, giving it a few turns to heat through. Add the lemon juice and some salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the pasta, tossing in the arugula and mix until everything is well distributed. Adjusting seasonings: salt, olive oil, pepper to taste. Garnish with some additional crushed red pepper if you like more heat.
Serve hot and devour any leftovers cold.