At the request of my blog-friend Matthew, I post my Grandmother’s recipe for Spaghetti and Crabs. Matthew, this is one of those recipes that has no measurements. I will do my best to approximate the amounts. Since you are an excellent chef, I doubt you’ll have many problems recreating it and enhancing it!
In a large pot, cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. On a low medium heat, let it get hot. Toss in minced garlic to personal taste (for me 1 TBSP.) . Let cook for a minute. Take 2 large cans of Italian plum tomatoes and run them through the blender to puree them. Toss in the large pot with the garlic and oil. Add1 large can of Italian crushed tomatoes. Add one can of water, 1/3 cup of sweet basil, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning (or to taste, my Mother had a heavier hand which I thought was too much) and 8 bay leafs. Add oregano to taste (I love oregano, so put a lot in). Let it come to a gentle bubble, turn the heat down to simmer. Let simmer.
While the tomato gravy is cooking, start working on the crabs.
Purchase 1 dozen fresh, live crabs. Dump them in the sink. Carefully, grab one crab and break off the two front pincer claws at the body. Set aside the claws to clean later. Remove the back of the crab. Throw away. With scissors, under cold water running from faucet, cut off the ‘feathers’ where they attach to the body. If male crabs, flip over to the belly and remove ‘his organ.’ Then cut the crab body in half down the center ‘seam.’ Wash out the guts and organs. Clip off the side legs half way up the leg. Follow this procedure for all 12 crabs. Scrub the body and the pincer claws with a brush to get off any residual dirt and sand.
When you get to crab # 6, which should be about 30 minutes into the tomato gravy cooking, add approximately 1/2 cup of romano/parmesan cheese to the gravy. Stir well.
When you finish with cleaning the crabs, throw them ALL into the bubbling hot tomato gravy. Stir them in so they are covered with the gravy. Put a lid on the pot. Let them cook approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
In the meantime, start a pot of water for the spaghetti of your taste. Grandmother and Mother liked #9. I prefer vermicelli. Cook spaghetti. When done, drain, toss in a bowl, cover with gravy.
Serve crabs in a side dish. Enjoy!