Tagliatelle with crab and chilli

A desert island dish, this one: it would be part of my last meal on earth. It’s delicious through the year, but is probably at its best in spring, when the crabs are sweet and wet garlic pongs gloriously on the shelves.

Serves 2


The white and brown meat from a large cooked crab
2 deseeded red chillies, finely chopped
300g dried tagliatelle, or linguine if you prefer
3 cloves garlic or about 6 cloves wet garlic, finely chopped
Glass of white wine
Big bunch of parsley, leaves and stalks separated, finely chopped
3 lemons, juiced, with the zest of one lemon removed and finely chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pan of very well-salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta while you make the sauce.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chilli, lemon zest and chopped parsley stalks in the olive oil, then add the garlic. Let everything soften for a few minutes before adding the crab meat. Move it all around the pan to warm through, then turn the heat right up, pour in the wine and add the juice from one of the lemons. Season well. By the time the wine has almost completely reduced, the pasta should be ready. Drain it and, off the heat, add to the frying pan. Throw in the chopped parsley leaves, the juice from the other two lemons and several glugs of olive oil. Work the sauce through the pasta. Place in warmed bowls and serve, with extra lemon if people want it.

14 thoughts on “Tagliatelle with crab and chilli

  1. >Great recipe one of my favourites too.

    I only differ in that I prefer to use good dried non egg pasta for this dish – Linguinni or Trenette are perfect.

  2. Pingback: Consider the crab | The Guardian Reader

  3. I’m going to try this tonight. Instead of taking the meat off a crab, I’ve bought it freshly minced from a fishmonger (half brown, half white). Is that cheating? For 3 hungry people I’m going to assume that 450g of meat will be enough to go with 500g of tagliatelle. My mouth is watering already!

  4. Pingback: Consider pasta

  5. Pingback: Consider pasta | Health News

  6. Pingback: Consider pasta | Lifestyle News

  7. This looks really very nice and easy enough for me to try out on some friends tomorrow night. Oliver thanks for linking to your site (from the guardian piece) which I didn’t know existed. You write so beautifully and I’m going to work my way through all of your recipes… having said that I think I might pass on the ricotta. Keep up the good work.

  8. So I made the linguine – which due to my messing about with the recipe- was only quite nice. I made too much pasta – I make either too little or not enough depending on I don’t know what, the phases of the moon maybe – and it was correspondingly a little dry/carb heavy. I also only put one chilli pepper in and so it lacked the heat needed to lift the aforementioned carb laden heaviness. Entirely my fault. Next time I will not deviate….

  9. Pingback: Consider the crab (Couscous recipe)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>