I served this during a party at home.
I usually shy away from pastas served with aligue or crab fat sauce in restaurants, for health reasons as well as suspecting the sauce won't really have real crab fat. I always hear my mommy warning me never to buy bottled crab fat because they are bound to make you sick. Kape, or talangka, the small, local mud crabs, have to be alive when cooked, or you'll get vomitting spells and severe loose bowels. So we were limited to homecooked kape. And it is never served at night, mainly because of the inconvenience of calling on a doctor in the wee hours of the morning.
I made an exception when pasta with aligue sauce was served during a friend's birthday party. I happened to know the cook very well, and there were so many guests that I took comfort in the fact that I would have company in the hospital, if ever.
That was more than two months ago, and nothing untoward has happened to me, so I asked the cook where she got the aligue. She recommended two brands which turned out to be well-known, already with a reputation, so I sampled them and prepared to serve pasta with aligue for a party for the hubby.
I found Navarro's taba ng talangka at the Central Luzon Trade Fair, and it was great that they had free samples, because their product came in three kinds - 50%, 80%, and 100% (premium), pertaining to the crab fat content. The first two contained bread crumbs as extenders, both tasted fine, but the vendor recommended the 50% as the best one to use for pasta sauces. However, I got taken by the taste of the premium, which I bought, along with the 80%, and mixed them.
I also sampled Razon's of Guagua, Pampanga. This brand carries only one kind, though, reportedly 100% aligue. I liked the texture, which looked more 100% than Navarro's premium. It tasted better, too. This is what I sent to my BBM3 recipient, to flavor pancit palabok, a Filipino dish which she professed to love.
Navarro's and Razon's aligue are soured by calamansi and vinegar, respectively, to extend shelf life. The sourness is just right to counter the richness of the crab fat. Navarro's is more sour, though, because calamansi is really tart. This removes the necessity of squeezing calamansi or lemon wedges on cooked pasta and pancit palabok.
500 mL aligue or mud crab fat
3 tbsp basil and parsley pesto
500 mL tomato sauce
125 mL evaporated or fresh milk
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 medium onion, minced finely
2 tbsp olive oil
finely ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Sautè garlic in hot oil. When the garlic stops to sizzle but has not yet turned golden brown, stir in the onion until transparent. Pour in the aligue and cook for two minutes. Pour the milk and the tomato sauce, stir, then cover for five minutes. Turn off the heat, stir and mix in the pesto and salt and pepper. Add sugar if desired.
Top on previously cooked and drained linguini or spaghetti, and sprinkle ground parmesan cheese.
Good for 1.5 kilos of pasta.
The pesto is a homemade mix of half basil and half parsley processed with a clove of garlic and olive oil.
To do away with the tired garlic buttered baguette toasts that always accompany pasta dishes, I served quesadillas with honey garlic mayo dip.
Another use for aligue: Palabok with Aligue Sauce
- Jupiter Street, beside Super Bowl of China/Starbucks
- Fiesta Market!Market! open air food court, beside Trinity
- Region III kiosk, Fiesta Market!Market! open air food court, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
- Tiendecitas, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas