Simple Dinners 04 / Crab & Chilli Spaghetti

crab chilli spaghetti

Hi everyone! I’m currently in Los Angeles, with one week and two cities left on this amazing holiday. It has been incredible so far and I can’t wait to sift through hundreds of photos and tell you all about it! In the meantime, follow along on Instagram for all the fun!

But today I want to talk quick and easy dinners. It’s winter in Sydney at the moment, and before I left, I had a massive craving for pasta. As much as I love a good ragu with a glass of red wine on a cold night, I was in the mood for something much lighter.

I remembered a dish I’d had at Manly Wine a few years ago. It couldn’t be more simple – pre-prepared crab meat (you can buy this already picked and shredded either fresh or frozen), with fresh red chilli, good quality olive oil, lots of lemon zest and fresh herbs. It absolutely couldn’t be easier, which makes it perfect for a weeknight, and apart from the crab meat, you probably have everything else on hand.

And to keep things interesting, here are a few ways to mix it up:

  • You could add a handful of cherry tomatoes and cook them briefly until they are just softened and starting to burst. Tomatoes are in season over here so I have been eating soooo many!
  • Throw in some baby spinach leaves at the same time as the herbs. Once it’s done they will be just lightly warmed and wilted.
  • Replace the crab with cooked prawns or squid 
  • Try making the pasta from scratch, or even try using other shapes of pasta – I think penne would also work well.

Crab and Chilli Spaghetti
Serves 2 (can be scaled up easily)

Note: This was a quick weekday dinner and I didn’t measure anything when I made it, so the recipe is a little rough. But you can’t really go wrong just adding the following ingredients to your own tastes

  • Half packet thin spaghetti 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Half red chilli, finely sliced (use more or less depending on how much spice you like)
  • 150-250g cooked crab meat (the one I bought looked a bit like this)
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Big handful of both coriander and parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, optional, to serve
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to packet instructions. In the meantime, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in frypan over medium heat and then add the garlic and chilli, cooking until fragrant. Add the crab meat and lemon zest and juice and cook for 4-5 minutes or until crab meat is heated through (it should be already cooked).
When spaghetti is al dente, drain and add to the frypan with olive oil, coriander, parsley, salt and pepper. Keep over the heat and toss through with tongs for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are evenly distributed through the pasta. Serve on warm plates with parmesan cheese.

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