Crab linguine

3 Nov

Crab linguine

This simple, delicious crab linguine takes me back to the week we spent camping in Cornwall, at the tip of the Lizard peninsula.

Once the seven-hour drive and rigamarole of pitching camp was behind us, we spent our days cliff walking, beach lazing, and body surfing, and our nights toasting marshmallows and sipping whisky round the campfire.

Before leaving London, I’d had the brainwave of freezing a few meals in large ziplock bags. These served as ice blocks for the cooler, keeping the milk and butter cool while they slowly thawed (a system that worked surprisingly well) until I heated them up on our little gas burner.

By the last day, our food supplies had dwindled to a box of crackers, two pot noodles, some condiments… and not much else, and the plan was to end things with a good pub dinner.

But passing through a fishing village on our afternoon walk, I noticed a sign for freshly caught crab meat. Too tempting to pass up, and we bought a generous bagful, stopping for pasta, butter, and a lemon on the way back to the campsite.

The crab linguine we ate that evening on plastic camping plates, wiping our butter-slick faces with paper towels, was the culinary highlight of our week.

Though crab is a lot dearer in London, I’ve made crab linguine a few times since. While somewhat more refined than the single pot version we enjoyed in Cornwall, this recipe is still simplicity itself.

Crab linguine
(serves 4, or 6 as a starter)

  • 500g linguine
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • a pinch of ground fennel
  • 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and minced
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 250g crab meat, brown and white separated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium flame.
  3. Add the garlic, and cook for thirty seconds or so, until just starting to colour.
  4. Stir in the brown crab meat, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon to make a sauce.
  5. Add the fennel, red chilli, lemon juice and zest and stir to combine.
  6. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.
  7. Add the pasta to the frying pan and toss to coat, adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water if it seems too dry.
  8. Stir through the white crab meat and parsley. Season with Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper.

5 Responses to “Crab linguine”

  1. Margo November 3, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    Haven’t tried this yet. Sounds like a winner

  2. Jasmine S. November 3, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Ohhhh, this sounds AMAZING!

    • Andrea November 4, 2016 at 8:13 am #

      Thank you!

  3. Yana November 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    Oh, Andrea, your camping trip sounds great, and I bet nobody on the campsite ate as well as you did!

    • Andrea November 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

      Thanks, Yana! That freezing meals in advance was the bomb — don’t know how it took me so many years to think of it…

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