July 24, 2020

Buttery Crab Pasta With Golden Tomatoes & Chervil

Recipe: Melissa Clark

“If you can’t find chervil — which is not as popular outside of France as this mildly licoricey herb should be — use basil, mint or cilantro instead,” says The New York Times columnist and Dinner in French cookbook author Melissa Clark.


  • 250 g bucatini or linguine
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups halved golden or red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1⁄8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh chervil leaves, divided
  • 1 lemon, finely zested
  • 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
  • Pepper
  • 250 g lump crabmeat, picked over to remove stray shells
  • Olive oil, for drizzling


Yield: Serves 2 for mains, 4 as an appetizer

Prepare Pasta

  1. Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (usually a minute or two less than package directs). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta.

Make Sauce

  1. In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in 1⁄2 cup of pasta water and Parmesan. Then, stir in tomatoes, scallion, red pepper flakes and large pinch of sea salt, and simmer for 1 minute.

Assemble Pasta

  1. Stir in pasta, 1⁄4 cup of chervil, lemon zest and juice, and black pepper, to taste; toss until warmed through. Gently fold in crabmeat. Remove skillet from heat and serve sprinkled with Parmesan, remaining 1⁄4 cup of chervil, drizzle of olive oil and sea salt, to taste.

Laura Edwards


Excerpted from Dinner in French by Melissa Clark. ©2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs ©2020 Laura Edwards. Published in the U.S. by Clarkson Potter Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.