Limoncello Crab Scampi Recipe

Limoncello Crab Scampi Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 35 mins


  • 4 Blue crabs
  • 2 oz. Limoncello (or 1 cup of white wine and juice of 1 lemon)
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Hot pepper flakes, optional
  • Handful of Parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of Thyme
  • 6 oz. Pasta (I used spaghetti)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for cooking


  • When preparing blue crabs, you need them to be as fresh as possible. They must be kept alive up until you are ready to clean and cook them. To numb them first, place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then submerge the crabs in the water for one minute. Remove them from the boiling water and place into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.
  • Now the crabs are ready to be cleaned. First turn the crab over and use a knife to lift the apron (flap of abdomen on the underside). Pry the back shell off of the crab. Net, grab each side of the crab and snap in half. To clean the crab legs, run them under cold water to remove the crabs insides and the gills (grayish in color). Now you are ready to start cooking.
  • Bring a pot of water with a few pinches of salt to a boil which will be used to cook the pasta later on.
  • In a deep frying pan, heat up about two ounces of olive oil over a medium/high flame. Add in the butter and let melt completely. Once melted, add in the garlic and fry for about one minute, making sure to continuously stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Add in the crab and hot pepper flakes and stir together for about two minutes. 
  • Next add in the limoncello. If you do not have limoncello, add in a cup of dry white wine and the juice of one lemon. Add in the thyme and mix all together and let cook for about five minutes over a medium/low flame, making sure to stir occasionally and flip the crab legs over to cook evenly.
  • At this point, add the pasta into the pot of boiling water seasoned with salt and cook the pasta as per the package instructions. Remove from the pot one minute before the cook time so that it is al dente.
  • After five minutes of cooking the crab, add in one to two ladles of the pasta water to thicken the limoncello sauce. Continue to cook the crabs on low for another four to five minutes.
  • Once the pasta is ready, scoop into the pan of limoncello crabs. Add in the parsley and mix together. Remove from the stove top and serve while still hot. Salute and cin cin!

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