Crunch crap and butternut squash

Crunchy crab with butternut squash noodles tomatoes and chilies only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Submitted photo

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and thought, I’d love to make this dish at home. This is how this dish was created. I did change things up a little, instead of the usual pasta, I decided to make mine with butternut squash noodles.

The original sauce had cream in it, I tried it with Greek yogurt, but it didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it.  So back to the drawing board. Try-try again is a great moto for a chef, until you prefect the dish to your liking.

As usual it always comes back to the basics, good quality ingredients, the less ingredients the better, and let the ingredients speak for themselves.

This dish takes about 10 minutes to make, tastes delicious, and is full of texture, aroma and visual appeal. Hope you like it as much as we do!

 Serves 4


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices

1 red chili pepper, deseeded and minced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut halves

Sea salt (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

2 slices whole wheat bread, roughly torn

2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon pistachio nuts, crushed

1 pound fresh Butternut squash noodles

12oz jumbo lump fresh crab meat

How to cook:

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, when hot add the add garlic and red chili and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While the sauce is cooking, combine the bread and pistachio nuts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor. Process until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer to a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and tossing constantly until golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl. Season the nutty bread crumbs to taste with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley and chives. Toss to combine. Set aside.

Add the squash noodles along with the crab meat to the tomatoes, and stir to completely coat the noodles and crab meat, cook for 3 minutes.

Serve the noodles immediately, topping with crunchy herbed bread crumbs.

Chef Mark Allison

Mark Allison, Executive is Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out for more recipes and a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.

Mark Allison,is Executive Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out for a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.  Want more recipes?  Visit

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