Crab Linguine

July 15, 2020
Family Verdict:


  • 400g linguine
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 whole cooked crab, picked, or about 100g/4oz brown crabmeat and 200g/7oz fresh white crabmeat
  • small splash, about 5 tbsp, white wine
  • small squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, very finely chopped

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the linguine. Give it a good stir and boil for 1 min less than the pack says. Stir well occasionally so it doesn’t stick.
  2. While the pasta cooks, gently heat 3 tbsp of olive oil with the chilli and garlic in a pan large enough to hold all the pasta comfortably. Cook the chilli and garlic very gently until they start to sizzle, then turn up the heat and add the white wine. Simmer everything until the wine and olive oil come together. Then take off the heat and add the brown crabmeat, using a wooden spatula or spoon to mash it into the olive oil to make a thick sauce.
  3. When the pasta has had its cooking time, taste a strand – it should have a very slight bite. When it’s ready, turn off the heat. Place the sauce on a very low heat and use a pair of kitchen tongs to lift the pasta from the water into the sauce.
  4. Off the heat, add the white crabmeat and parsley to the pasta with a sprinkling of sea salt. Stir everything together really well, adding a drop of pasta water if it’s starting to get claggy. Taste for seasoning and, if it needs a slight lift, add a small squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately twirled into pasta bowls and drizzled with the remaining oil.


So here is a dish that has a lot of back story, which I don't think I have the energy to repeat right now. As avid readers may know, my youngest two Offspring are Not Keen on fish - by which I mea they are unreceptive to the point of it's not worth the fight to have a nice meal (for me) cos I will need to do something else for them.

As avid readers may also know, I have a small holiday home in Norfolk. And I had decided to sell it in early 2020, before the plague set in. However, once the plague had set in, I had let cousin Annie (not my cousin, but the Late Wife's) use the house for the duration, with her Adorable Toddler. By now it is mid summer, the plague continues, but we are allowed to travel more freely and shops are opening. So one glorious day I pack up the Offspring (except the Youngest, who is otherwise engaged) and off we go for a daytrip to the seaside.

A glorious day was had by all. Suffice to say that during it we bought and ate as a picnic some smoked prawns from the Cley smokehouse. Dipped in garlic mayonnaise they were fabulous and delicious. On the way back to the house we stopped at a small hole-in-the-wall fish shop which proliferate along the coast road. As the middle girl was also due out that evening, I thought I could take some fish home and have it for dinner. But it was late in the day and there wasn't much choice left. Iended up with half dozen oysters and a dressed crab.

The oysters we had back at the house immediately. They were plump and delicious, salty and sweet. I hadn't had one in a while, and thoroughly enjoyed them. That left me with a crab and three to feed. So when we finally made it home I made this crab linguine (yes I know it is spaghetti, but bear with me).

I must confess I oversalted the pasta and the dish which was a shame because something of he delicacy of the crab was lost. But I am sure if you are not a klutz with the salt this would be a delicate and delicious dish. I will make it again when I get my next crab.....

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