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.
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
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.