Amore Alavar Pasta -Clara Ole’s Cream-Based Crab Sauce Ala Zamboanga Style!

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Hey gentle readers! April here from RelaxLangMom to share my new favorite invention – Clara Ole Cream-Based Crab Sauce inspired by the rich culinary traditions of Zamboanga.

As many of you know, Zamboanga City lays claim to developing what is considered the original Alavar Sauce. This cooking style has deep roots in the unique creole culture that emerged when the Spanish first colonized the region in the 1600s. A blend of Spanish mojo criollo and local Filipino ingredients like coconut cream came together to form the beloved Alavar Sauce over generations.

Zamboanga has a strong Spanish influence since it was one of the earliest areas colonized in our country. It’s said that Alavar Sauce has its roots in Spanish mojo criollo – a classic garlic and olive oil sauce. When the Spanish first arrived in Zamboanga, they introduced their methods of sauce-making to the local Chavacano people.

One restaurant in particular, Alavar, is famous throughout the Philippines for their curacha crab smothered richly in this sauce. Curacha, also known as spanner crabs, is a type of seafood that’s like a giant-sea-crab-spiny-lobster hybrid, but most of its meat comes from the body instead of the claws.. They are mostly found in the seacoast of Zamboanga and not available in other Philippine regions. Just thinking about those sweet creamy chunks has me longing for the sea breeze!

This pasta dish was inspired during a craving for Alavar-style seafood. Rather than attempting the traditional sauce from scratch, I decided to use Clara Ole’s ready-made cream sauce to simplify things. The brand captures those luxurious flavors so well without much fuss. I have a leftover Clara Ole Crab Sauce from Christmas and has decided that it is worth testing.

Alavar Amore Pasta

  • 200 grams shrimp
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 Clara Ole Crab Cream-based Pasta Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Navarro Crab Paste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 kl pasta

We’ll start by cooking your shrimps in a bit of water and salt. Saute until shells has turned to red and water has evaporated. Peel and set aside.

Now, we will be sautéing our holy trinity of aromatics – garlic, onion, and ginger – in a pot over medium heat. Be sure to go light on the ginger as we don’t want its bite overwhelming our other flavors.

Once fragrant, sprinkle in some warming curry powder and turmeric. Allow the spices to bloom in the oils briefly before proceeding to the next step.

Now pour in your bottle of creamy, dreamy Clara Ole Crab Cream-Based Pasta Sauce. At this stage, you can also add our favorite Navarros crab paste if using – yum! You can also use real crabs if you;re feeling extra.

Let everything come together in a gentle simmer, allowing the aromas to meld and intensify. Play around with adding a splash of fish sauce, pinch of sugar and grinds of salt and pepper until it tastes just right to you.

Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add back your shrimp then simply toss through cooked pasta or serve it over steaming rice! The creamy sauce clings beautifully to every strand.

This one-pot wonder lets the flavors shine through. I hope you enjoy this coastal classic as much as I do. Don’t forget to share your creations!

PS, an Alavar Sauce is being sold at supermarkets. I found one at Unimart in Capitol Commons so I’m sure other groceries would have some too. I found this original Alavar Sauce in Shopee but it’s for pickup only which is understandable since its easily perishable..

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