Easy crab, spinach and lemon crumb spaghetti x Garofalo pasta
This easy but extremely delicious crab, spinach and lemon crumb spaghetti recipe is a wonderful seasonal addition to your dinnertime this spring.
Crab Spinach lemon crumb spaghetti
Spring is in the air and I always find that our bodies crave different food and flavours with the warmer months. A change in season also means a new range of seasonal ingredients for us to enjoy and bring variety to our everyday cooking.
Crab has a beautiful succulent sweet flesh that works perfectly for a range of dishes including easy simple pasta dishes. The fact you can buy crab meat already prepped means you don’t have to faff about with cooking and prepping the crab separately yourself. This can be time-consuming and stressful. You can find it in the fresh fish section in larger supermarkets or fishmongers.
The key to cooking with crab meat is to use other flavours and ingredients that complement the sweet flesh and not overpower it. You want to make sure that the crab is the most dominant note in your dish to really appreciate it. If you have never cooked with crab before then this is a great recipe to start with. You only need another handful of ingredients that you can buy from any local supermarket. Making this crab spinach lemon crumb spaghetti is an easy and accessible dish for others to enjoy.
Can’t find any crab meat? Feel free to substitute with any white fish or fresh tuna.
When it comes to seafood dishes, I always find that long pasta works best. The oil-based ‘saucy’ nature means that it can cling to the pasta better. So for this dish, I am using SPAGHETTI ALLA CHITARRA originating from the southern Italian region, Abruzzo. What is great about this unique long pasta shape is like spaghetti it is long, but instead of being round it has a squared surface area. It gives this dish a unique texture and the sauce clings onto it better. Not commonly found, you don’t have to worry as Garofalo has this unique shape in their pasta range and can be ordered at Amazon Uk, or Ocado.
Using only the best quality semolina flour, Garofalo pasta has a high protein content, which helps retain starch, hold its shape and give that perfect ‘al dente’ texture that we should all be looking for.
Secondly, even though this shape has a smooth texture without any indents of ridges, Garofalo pasta is bronze-died, which gives the pasta a rough, porous surface making it perfect for sauces to bind and cling to regardless of the texture.
2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or thinly sliced
1 fresh chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
125g baby spinach
200g crab meat
300g spaghetti alla chitarra (Garofalo)
- First, fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
- In the meantime, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil into a frying pan on low/medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toss into the olive oil. Cook until lightly toasted. Freshly zest the lemon on top of the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and empty into a bowl. Set aside.
- Next, place the spinach into a colander in a sink, and pour boiling water on top to wilt it. Rinse it with cold water to stop it from cooking. Bring it all together and squeeze out any excess water with your hands. Place on a chopping board and finely chop.
- In the frying pan, gently fry the garlic in 1-2 tbsp of olive on low heat until you can start to smell the garlic.
- Add the chilli and cook with the garlic for a couple of minutes.
- Add the spinach and the crab meat and toss well together until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, season the pasta water generously with salt and cook the spaghetti as instructed on the packet.
- Before draining, collect some pasta water. Add the pasta to the crab and toss it together, while carefully adding a few tablespoons of pasta to create a silky pasta sauce. Serve with the lemon crumb on top.
- Make sure you boil your pasta water in a large saucepan so when you cook the pasta it has the room to cook evenly and is not cramped.
- Panko breadcrumbs are perfect for this dish as it creates a lovely texture.
- Wilting spinach quickly in a colander with boiling water is a time-saver. Make sure you squeeze out the excess water to maximise flavour.
- Cooking garlic slowly on low heat prevents it from burning. Keep it moving around the pan
- You can use chilli flakes as a substitution for the fresh kind.
- If you can’t find crab meat, you can use any other white fish or tuna.
- Make sure the pasta water is seasoned well to make sure that the pasta doesn’t taste bland.
- Pasta water is key to creating a silky sauce with the crab and spinach sauce. I would add it a little bit at a time until you are happy with the consistency you get it.