Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homemade Fettucine with an Herbed Cream Crawfish Sauce

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Crawfish Boils are a traditional southern version of a family picnic.  Picnic tables are lined up end to end in a backyard.  This is messy eating so newspapers are generously spread over the table tops.  Crawfish are seasoned with secret family spices and slide into huge pots of boiling water.

Corn, Potatoes, Onions are all thrown in for added flavor.  The smell is hypnotic. Hopefully some very empty bellies arrive at this kind of deep southern family gathering.  

Once the crawfish are bright red and the seasonings have had time to do their magic, huge mounds of them are piled high in the middle of the picnic tables.  

The phrase "Laissez les Bons Temps Roulée" just never gets worn out in this state.  Relatives catch up on the family news, children run all over the yard chasing each other with crawfish, and the spicy air is filled with special times repeated over several generations.

My husband has been mentioning for the last year, that he would love to make pasta from scratch.  So, this Father's Day what did he receive?  A pasta roller that attaches to our blender.  We decided for our first attempt at homemade pasta we would make a Fettucini with Herbed Cream Sauce topped with little gems of crawfish.

The recipe that I used called for lobster meat.  I decided to substitute crawfish meat.  

The sauce is actually made by stewing the shells of the crawfish {or lobster} in a sauce of fresh tomatoes, tarragon, thyme, and garlic.  

The flavor of the shells and all of the herbs are strained out in the end.  What is left is a deliciously rich cream sauce that clings to the homemade fettucini with melt-in-your-mouth savoriness.

First things first, we had to tackle making the homemade fettucini.  Like so many other new cooking endeavors {like sorbet...remember?} pasta is ridiculously easy to make.  

Having the pasta roller is probably the most important tool required here as rolling out pasta dough without it would be pretty tedious.

Patrick tackled his new culinary quest with serious focus.  It is adorable to see him in the kitchen.  He turns into a master chef and approaches his recipes with intellect and precision.   He considered several recipes for homemade pasta.  He finally settled on one option, but not without tweaking it and adding a little extra this and changing a little bit of that.

Voila!  Success.  His pasta was beautiful.  It became quite the family affair as I helped catch the long supple ribbons of pasta dough;  Madeleine sprinkled flour all over the counter and carefully lined up the long strands of fettucini so they could dry.

We had flour everywhere!  We were quite afraid of the pasta strands all sticking together.  This recipe made plenty enough pasta for the four of us.  We had another entire serving of 4 that we froze for the following weekend.

Making pasta is a great kitchen activity for teens.  Just like the homemade pretzel weekend, pasta is something more sophisticated than cupcakes or cookies that teenagers will enjoy and feel more mature about doing together as a family.  

The options are now endless.  I would love to try an herbed flavored pasta.  The sky is the limit in terms of varieties of sauces that could be partnered with this homemade deliciousness.  Patrick wants to make homemade of our favorites.  

Homemade Linguine with Crawfish and Herbed Cream Sauce
3-4 pounds of crawfish in their shells 
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped (set aside diced tomatoes for garnish)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs fresh tarragon sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds fettucine or linguine

Bring very large pot of salted water to boil. Add crawfish. Boil until cooked through, about 12 minutes (or cook in batches, if necessary). Using tongs, transfer crawfish to large rimmed baking sheet. Remove meat from tail and claws; place meat in medium bowl.  Cover and chill meat.  Reserve bodies and shells.
Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add reserved crawfish  bodies and shells (not the crawfish meat...just the shells!). Sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add tomato paste; stir 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, garlic, tarragon, thyme, and parsley. Add cream; boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer just until crawfish flavor infuses cream, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Strain sauce into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard contents of strainer. (Crawfish and sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.)
Transfer sauce to heavy large saucepan. Add crawfish to sauce. {Snippet's Notes:  I reserved some crawfish to add to the pasta dish as a garnish.} Gently rewarm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return pasta to pot. Add sauce; toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes. Garnish with diced tomato and chopped tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to large shallow bowl and serve.

Homemade Pasta: Basic Egg
4 large eggs
1 tbs (15 ml) water
3 1/2 cups (830ml) sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2mL) salt

Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in mixer bowl.  Attach bowl and flat beater.  Turn to Speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.  Exchange flat beater for dough hook.  Turn to Speed 2 and kneed 2 minutes.  Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes.  Let it rest for 20 minutes.  Divide dough into 4 pieces before processing with Pasta Sheet Roller attachment.  Yields 1 1/4 lbs (565g) dough.


  1. First time here. I stumbled upon your blog looking for fettuccine recipes. I must admit that I am in love with your blog and I am going to back often

  2. How beautiful. Crawdads are probably the tastiest little buggers ever, as far as I'm concerned :)

  3. This post is just so beautiful!

    The colors, the mood, the vibe...just..lovely. The shots of the pasta coming out of the machine...oh Sarah, just lovely!

  4. These turned out MUCH prettier than mine! And you TOTALLY have my vote over on Babble. :)

  5. Nothing better that making home pasta.Now that you have started you can't be stopped and I am sure we will get more recepies like this.Interesting story about crayfish.It has such a sweet meat;)

  6. Hi Sarah, Wow it's my first time here on your blog and I love it! I love homemade pasta and this fettuccine looks absolutely mouth-watering :) Also I'm your newest follower and I just voted for you.

    Have a wonderful day,


  7. Because it's late and I'm tired :: I definitely clicked on this one for a quick peek at the 'mudbug'/pasta photos... And I was not disappointed. Not at all. :-) And now, I might have to stay up a bit longer to read the post right this minute. The photos are just that tantalizing!

  8. I grew up in the south and will always love crawfish! Great post- the pasta looks so elegant & so do the pics of the process.

  9. The photos and the home made pasta are absolutely gorgeous! I always thought making pasta at home is difficult and time consuming, but now I'm inspired to try it one day :)

  10. Very lovely! That is one of the best looking pasta dishes I have seen in quite some time.
    You are going to love homemade ravioli when you get to it. And the flavor choices are endless with homemade pasta!

  11. Love the mood of your beautiful, like the dish! Home made is the best!

  12. LOL Making fresh pasta is a messy affair. But soooo worth it -- just as these lovely photos show.

  13. Sarah, This is such a stunning post. I cannot get over the light and your images are like paintings. Wow!
    I am so jealous of your crawfish - sadly not a tradition here in California:(
    P.S. Are you heading to Istanbul?

  14. Oh yum and super yum :) It looks so delicious. I think I need to save all your recipes and try them out. They look divine and I am sure they taste that way too.

  15. The fettuccine look amazing! I love making fresh pasta, especially fettuccine. I never dry them, though. I just throw them in the oil/salted-water pot for about 2 mins, and I'm done!

    I came here just to see the pasta-making photos. I never tire of seeing others make pasta. Lovely, lovely photos you have here.

  16. Wow!! this is just incredible - the seafood looks amazing but the pasta - wow!!
    Mary x

  17. officially putting the kitchen-aid pasta attachment on my must purchase list so I can make this fettuccine (and lots of other pastas). Looks incredible. Beautiful photos!

  18. It looks delicious! Making pasta, I think, is difficult and takes time and energy, it's long but the result is always amazing! Bravo!

  19. You make me want to run our and get a pasta roller!! And the only thing I thought to make with crawfish was etoufee!!! Go figure!

    Your pics are splendid as always.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  20. Your photos are simply gorgeouuusss, they tell a story in their own little way :) and my goodness does the final dish look delicious!! Im not sure if i commented previously to let you know that I recently gave you and your stunning blog an award, to 'receive' it you just have to pop by mine and check out my post from a few days ago! I thought id commented telling you this previously but cant find it if i had so thought id best leave another just incase! :)

  21. What a gorgeous post everything :) And congratulations on your or your husbands first fresh pasta experience! I so love making fresh pasta and love this sauce!
    Voted ;)

  22. Your family crawfish gatherings sounds like heaven! This recipe is my ideal dish, pasta AND crawfish - yum. I do carry a little fear about making my own pasta though ..

  23. I love your recipe. Good thing I saw your blog, mom is coming this weekend and I’ve promised her to make some unique pasta sauce. Surely, mom will love it. She’s really into pasta. Thanks for this recipe.

  24. I absolutely love homemade pasta! I have never been to a crawfish boil, but have heard lots of good things. This sounds delicious. Beautiful shots! :)

  25. Easy for you perhaps!! I don't think I'll be tackling this one but would love to sample ;-)

  26. Being a northern girl - I've never seen 'live' crawfish. Pretty cool - if you ask me. And that you transformed them into a beautiful meal - is so very inspiring!!!

  27. Lovely post! This homemade fettuccine looks heavenly :)

  28. Voted! I'm so glad I've found your blog. It's just beautiful. And you've just named a soft focus fantasy of mine- that sometime soon in the future there will be kids about and we'll spend the weekends holding strands of home made pasta together. Carbohydrates and family- doesn't get much better than that.

  29. love ur plate! the fettucine looks awesome!the fist pics is fantastic!

  30. This is a lovely looking dish and there is nothing better than home-made pasta!

  31. This really looks delicious with lots of twists. I'm definitely craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This is definitely a must do recipe this weekend since I got my Alcohol Training.

  32. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that make the greatest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!
    My webpage: captain black royal

  33. Am I able to substitute Langostino Lobster for the crawfish? Because... that's what I have available :)


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