Nonna's Crab and Lobster with Spaghetti


This recipe is adapted from "Pasta Sfoglia," by Ron and Colleen Suhanosky (Wiley, 2009), which also has a recipe for preserved lemons. Serve this dish with nutcrackers, so that guests can work on their own crabs and lobster tails. The job can get messy, so have extra napkins on hand.


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 6 medium blue Maryland crabs (5 ½ to 6 inches each), cooked

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) peeled whole tomatoes, pureed (about 6 cups)

  • 7 ½ cups water

  • 3 lobster tails

  • ¼ cup finely chopped preserved lemons

  • Coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound spaghetti


  1. Heat grapeseed oil, garlic, crabs, and red-pepper flakes in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until sauce is reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Add lobster tails and 2 cups water. Cook for 30 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate in pot for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

  2. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until crabs and lobster tails are heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove crabs and lobster tails; transfer to a serving bowl. Add preserved lemons, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper to sauce.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti until just al dente. Drain. Transfer to sauce, and gently toss to coat. Immediately transfer spaghetti to a platter, and serve with crabs and lobster tails.

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