“Crab is quite an underused ingredient. I think a lot of people try brown crab meat first and don’t like it, or find a whole crab a daunting challenge. But it’s actually very easy to cook and the combination of crab and chilli creates a clean-tasting but fiery dish. I nearly always choose linguine over spaghetti – sauces cling to linguine easily and you get more from every mouthful,” says Isaac Carew.
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ medium red chilli, sliced
1 sprig of thyme, leaves only
100ml white wine
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
100g white crab meat
1 tbsp mascarpone
Juice of ½ lemon
A few chives, finely chopped, to serve
Whack a saucepan of salted water on to boil. In the meantime, heat a medium frying pan over a low to medium heat, add a little olive oil and sauté the shallot and garlic until sweet and tender.
Add the chilli to the pan, along with the thyme leaves and cook for a few minutes. Next add the white wine and cook over a medium heat for another minute or two until the sauce is reduced. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Chuck the linguine in the salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Retaining 1–1½ ladles of the pasta water, strain the pasta and set aside.
Add the crab meat and mascarpone to the sauce, then fold the sauce through the pasta, adding the reserved water. This will give extra gloss to the dish and a deeper taste. Finish with a little drizzle of olive oil, the lemon juice and a sprinkling of chives.
Extract from The Dirty Dishes: 100 fast and delicious recipes by Isaac Carew. (Bluebird, £20) Photography by Susan Bell. Out now.