Chilli crab linguine was the first dish I tried to cook from the River Cafe cookbook when it first came out. I did eat there a couple of times in it’s early days. One of their popular starters was griddled squid with chilli, lemon & rocket. I knew those flavours would also work perfectly when I saw the crab linguine recipe in their book.
It is one of the easiest dishes you could cook but has a real burst of flavour to it. All it really involves is putting the ingredients in to a bowl then adding the pasta when it is cooked, so simple. It’s something I always cook when on holiday in Devon, where the crab is superb. The fishmonger sells big tubs of white meat and I always use a pot big enough for 4 just for the two of us. It is still cheaper than eating out and utterly delicious.
This dish can be prepared just as well with dressed crab from the fishmongers. I do include the brown meat here as it adds a richness to the sauce as well as thickening it slightly. Friday is the best day for fish traditionally. Never buy on a Monday as the fishing boats don’t go out on a Sunday. Any half decent fishmonger will tell you that if you ask them. If they don’t tell you then buy the fish at your peril ( fresh fish should not smell fishy, it should have very little smell to it at all ) or just wait until Friday to be sure!
Chilli crab linguine
- 1 fresh or dressed crab white meat only
- 2 red chillies finely chopped de- seed if you wish
- 1 bunch flat parsley roughly chopped
- 1 lemon juice of whole & zest of half
- 150 ml olive oil
- 50 g Parmesan cheese
- 200 g dried linguine pasta
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil for the pasta.
- While waiting for the water to boil, you can prepare the sauce. In a bowl, scoop out the crabmeat from it's shell and place it in the chosen bowl. Add to it the finely chopped red chiili (deseeded if you do not like it too hot), roughly chopped flat parsley, juice of the lemon with the zest if you like the flavour, the grated parmesan and the olive oil. Stir to combine.
- When the pasta water comes to the boil, cook the linguine according to packet instructions.
- Strain the pasta and add it to the crab sauce along with a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water.
- Use some tongs or some salad servers to mix the pasta with the crab thoroughly so that all the pasta gets a good coating of sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!