Alaska Crab Mac & Cheese

Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

1 lb. Italian fusilli or trottole pasta, cooked al dente, drained and kept warm
1 lb. Alaska crabmeat (2 lbs. Alaska King, Snow or Dungeness crab legs)
2 cups bite-sized pieces of fresh asparagus (about 9 oz.),
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt or garlic salt or onion salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 quart non-fat or 1% milk, warmed
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon each smoked paprika and dried thyme


Preheat oven to 400oF.

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in the salt, pepper and warm milk.  Cook and whisk until sauce has thickened and is smooth.  Turn heat to lowest setting; stir in cheeses.  Turn off heat; continue stirring until sauce is smooth.  Gently blend in the pasta, crabmeat and asparagus.  Turn mixture into a spray coated 9x13-inch pan or 8 (1-1/2 cup) baking dishes. 

Blend together breadcrumbs, smoked paprika and thyme; sprinkle evenly over pasta.  Bake 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and topping is browned.