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Since eating fresh Dungeness crab from Fisherman’s Wharf this weekend, I’ve been thinking of little of else—dreaming of wandering along the Embarcadero back to the crab and chowder stalls. But I haven’t had the time, so instead I dug out a favorite crab recipe of mine: Fresh Fettuccine with Creamy Crab Sauce.

While the author waxes lyrical about one of my least favorite wines—a local chardonnay—I’ve made the recipe a few times and always use something other than chardonnay with spectacular results (usually, whatever’s open in the fridge). The creamy, anise-y flavor of the sauce is an addictive compliment to the sweet, briny crab.

FRESH FETTUCCINE WITH CREAMY CRAB SAUCE

This recipe was created by Chronicle staff writer Tara Duggan.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 leek (white and light green parts only), washed well and thinly sliced

1 shallot, minced

1/2 cup Chardonnay

12 ounces fresh fettuccine

1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked through for cartilage

3/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

INSTRUCTIONS: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the oil and heat gently. Add the leek and shallot, then saute gently until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

As the pasta cooks, add the crabmeat and cream to the sauce, and simmer gently until just warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Combine the pasta, sauce and tarragon with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If needed, add some of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce.

Serves 4 to 6

PER SERVING: 415 calories, 14 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 23 g fat (11 g saturated), 120 mg cholesterol, 142 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

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