Preparation Time: 25- 30 minutes
For the brown crab:
1 x 900g/2lb cooked brown crab, 350g/12oz fresh crab meat
For the pasta:
25g/1oz sea salt
For the sauce:
55ml/2fl oz olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
½ tsp finely chopped red chilli
275g/10oz picked fresh white crab meat
25ml/1fl oz dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped nuts (e.g., almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the brown crab, first remove the legs by twisting them off where they meet the body. Remove the claws by pulling them off from the body. Separate the crab body from the central part of the crab by placing the crab on its back (hard shell-side down). Put your hands under the edge of the crab and push upwards until you hear it break. You may need to use a heavy knife to help you lever the crab apart.
- Remove all ten of the spongy ‘dead men’s fingers and discard. Drain any excess water from the shell of the crab and remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell. Use a spoon to remove the brown meat from the shell and place it into a bowl (it can be used in another recipe).
- Crack the two large front claws and pick out the white meat. Place all of the white meat on a metal tray and check thoroughly for any pieces of shell. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
- For the pasta, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the sea salt and cook the linguine for 7–8 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large, deep-frying pan and add the garlic, spring onions, chopped nuts and chilli. Gently fry for about 1-2 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Stir in the crabmeat and cook for another minute, or until heated through.
- Add the wine to the pan and cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated.
- Drain the linguine, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water. Add to the pan with the crabmeat and stir in the parsley and basil. Mix to coat evenly, adding a splash of reserved pasta water if the mixture is too dry.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.