- Serves: 6 as a starter; 4 as a main course
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Effort: easy
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 large red chilli
- 1.25 kg crab, undressed, to give you 200g white meat and 100g brown meat
- 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemons, juice and zest
- 500 g linguine
- 1 handfuls parsley, fresh, chopped
- 1 handfuls leaves watercress, roughly torn
Tips and Suggestions
You know, I'd eaten this a couple of times and made it myself (throwing in handfuls of peppery watercress as I did so) a few more before I realised it was, give or take, the River Café's recipe - by which I mean to say that although the amounts and full list of ingredients vary, it is an English seaside version of their fabulous original. I suppose that's how you know something's become a classic: it just seeps its way into the culinary language.
Crab is, I think, hugely underrated - so much better than lobster, and much cheaper. You can use frozen crab meat for this, but it's best to get a fishmonger to cook and pick out the meat for you.
Don't let the fact that a pestle and mortar is indicated put you off: this is fabulously easy to make.
1. Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
2. In a large pestle and mortar pulverise the peeled garlic cloves with the salt, so that it makes a smooth paste. Then add the chopped and seeded chilli and crush again until you have a gloriously red-tinged mixture.
3. Tip in the crab meat, breaking it up gently with a fork, and pour in the oil. Add the lemon zest to the mortar and then add the juice. Using a fork, beat well to mix
4. Cook your pasta, drain it and tip into a warmed serving bowl.
5. Immediately pour over the crab sauce and toss the pasta about in it, then throw in the parsley and watercress and toss again.
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