Monday, 20 April 2009

Blue Swimmer Crab Pasta

Spaghetti alla granseola or Spaghetti with blue swimmer crab, cherry tomatoes and basil.

You probably shouldn't name your crabs. It isn't conducive to tearing them to pieces. Anyway the one pictured below was Harry. Tom and Dick have already had their legs removed from their carapaces. So yes, we used three blue swimmer crabs. And they were already dead. No dispatching required. No tiny screams to haunt your nights.

Apart from the crabs you'll need red and yellow cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, chilli, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. A good pair of kitchen scissors to cut the ends off the crab legs up is handy too.

The first thing you have to do is clean the crabs, removing all the meat. Luckily enough we were taught how to this properly by Logan Campbell from Lucio's when we learned this recipe during a Ligurian cooking lesson at CIRA cooking school at Casa Barilla in Annandale. There is a trick to it but it is easy enough once you know how - click here to see a couple of blokes peel a cooked crab. The principal is the same as for raw - at least for opening up the body. If you're like us you'll have little pieces of shell and crab meat flying around the kitchen and a hungry cat pawing at you and complaining that the last piece of crab you gave him didn't touch the sides and... I digress.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Dice the garlic finely and roughly chop the basil. Cut, dice and chop. Sounds like a horror movie eh? No? Have you looked at the picture above?

Add the oil to the pan, add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the crab meat and sauté for another couple of minutes. It is also as good a time as any to start boiling a pot of water for the spaghetti.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan cook until the mixture forms a sauce. You can squash down a bit on the tomatoes with the back of spoon to help this along. When the pasta is ready drain the pasta and add the pasta to the pan and toss it through the crab stuff. Salt and pepper to taste. Finish up by tearing up the basil and add it to the crab pasta. Serve it right away.

Serve right away after you pour yourself a beer or a glass of wine that is.

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