Crab Casarecce with Tomato and Parsley

This is yet another riff on the River Café’s much-copied crab linguine with chilli. This version, inspired by one of my sons who worked at the River Cafe, adds diced tomato to the mix with plenty of flat leaf parsley to counter the chilli and creamy olive oil and lemon-laced white crab meat. It’s quick, no-fuss, utterly delicious and the recipe is easy to expand for more. It’s a good dinner party starter but a favourite one-course supper treat in my house. One day I ran out of linguine and spaghetti, so used casarecce, a short, double twist pasta that is such a good alternative that I prefer it. I keep cartons of Cornish white crab meat and 50/50 brown and white in the freezer for this and other quick recipes.

Serves 2
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min

200g casarecce or linguine
100g Cornish white crab (stockists
1 red bird’s eye chilli
2 vine tomatoes
1 lemon
4 tbsp best olive oil
25g bunch flat leaf parsley     

Put a large pan of water on to boil (or boil the kettle). Add 1 tsp salt to vigorously boiling water and swirl in the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, scrape the crab into a mixing bowl. Trim the chilli, halve lengthways, scrape away the seeds, slice in skinny batons and then into tiny dice. Wash your hands (at the River Café they wear plastic gloves) to remove pungent chilli juices. Cut the core out of the tomatoes in a pointed plug shape. Quarter lengthways, then scrape seed debris into a sieve over the crab bowl. Press with the back of a wooden spoon to extract the juice. Dice the tomato in small scraps. Add juice of half the lemon and 2 tbsp olive oil to the crab with the chilli. Chop the parsley leaves. Add tomato and parsley to the crab. Stir to mix, adding extra lemon, olive oil, pinch salt and few grinds of black pepper to taste. Stir the drained pasta through the crab and serve.