Spicy Crabmeat Linguine

  • 4 tbsp good olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or finely minced
  • 2 small birds eye chillies (or about 2 tbsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 1/2 a lemon - zest finely grated, and juice squeezed and set aside
  • 200-300g crab meat, picked over for any bits of shell
  • 200g noodle pasta, such as linguine
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley or coriander
  • *optional: 4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
I know I've been away for a while! With the festivities and some traveling I've been doing/visitors I've had, I really haven't been cooking that much! But anyway, here's one of my favourite weeknight pasta dinners. 2 pots/pans, 1 pair of tongs, a knife and cutting board is really all you need - which means this dish isn't just really quick and simple to put together, it makes for a really quick clean-up after as well! By all means, please use fresh crab meat from a crab if you want - but I can't be bothered 'cos this is meant to be a quick dinner dish. If you're gonna use fresh crabs, make sure you buy live, active ones, and just steam them very quickly (about 5-10 minutes, depending on size) in salted water and then pull the meat from the shell and shred it to use as I've described. You can probably sub in the meat from 1-2 blue swimmer crabs for this dish. (Serves 2)
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt it generously. (You should be using about 2 litres of water with about 20g of salt for the amount of pasta here.)
  2. Heat up the olive oil in a large-ish sauté pan over medium heat. (You're going to throw the noodles in here later, so make sure it's appropriately sized.) Add the minced/grated garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes or until very fragrant but not browned. Add in the chillies and cook for a further 1 minute. Tip the crabmeat in and cook, stirring, until the crabmeat is heated through and the garlic and chillies are evenly mixed with the crab meat (about 5 more minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season to taste.
  3. Cook the noodles in the boiling salted water until al dente (probably about 7 minutes for dried linguine), and drain. When the noodles are almost done, return the sauté pan to high heat. Add the noodles to the sauté pan with about 1/3 cup of the cooking water, and toss, cooking until the liquid mostly evaporates.
  4. Check for seasoning, then turn off the heat. Add in the chopped parsley, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil and toss once again so the seasonings are evenly mixed. The "sauce" should cling to the noodles.
  5. Divide between two warmed plates, and garnish with the toasted pine nuts, if using, and more parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.