Tag Archives: crab

Trullo Pastas

Peter bought me the Trullo cookbook as a pre-Christmas gift and we decided to celebrate the New Year with an Italian themed dinner.

Trullo is a very popular Italian restaurant in Highbury – North London – its always busy, gets great reviews and serves delicious unfussy Italian food.

Our starter was Burrata with anchovy paste and broad beans – this is the sort of dish i always order when im out for dinner and it was surprisingly easy to make – blitzing anchovies, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in the nutri-bullet, and simply topping with the burrata and scattering broad beans on top.

Anyway – on to the main courses which i will write up here – both very simple and tasty and again, the sorts of dishes I would always order in an Italian restaurant.

Firstly for the Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovy and Chilli

Serves 2
500g Tenderstem or Purple Sprouting Broccoli
2 Garlic Cloves – finely diced
Sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes
1/2 tin Anchovies
200g Orecchiette Pasta (Farfalle is recommended if you cant source the “little ears”)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan – for seasoning at the end

Boil the broccoli for 7 minutes and leave to one side.
Boil the pasta according to instructions – ours took around 10minutes which is exactly how long the sauce took to cook!
In a shallow frying pan gently fry the garlic and chilli in some olive oil until the garlic starts to colour. Add the anchovies to melt for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and a dash of water and pop a lid on the pan for 8-10 minutes. Remove the lid, season and add more olive oil for a little extra richness. Mix together with the pasta and serve with parmesan shavings on top.

The second dish was Linguine with Crab – this used both white and brown crab meat and was a completely new but easy and super tasty way of cooking a crab and pasta dish.

Serves 2
1 tin White crab meat
80g Brown crab meat
200g Linguine
1/2 Red Chilli – diced
20g Butter
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper
1tbsp Parsley – chopped

Cook the linguine in boiling water for 10 minutes – again this is roughly how long the crab takes to prepare.
In a bowl, mix together the brown and white crab, chilli, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and leave to one side.
In a large shallow frying pan, gently fry the butter and add the crab mixture – mix well, adding a splash of pasta water to seperate if needed. Once the pasta is cooked and drained – add this to the crab and mix thoroughly – adding more pasta water if needed. The sauce will emulsify as it coats the linguine.
Serve with a little extra black pepper to taste.


Spicy Crab & Tomato with Homemade Gnocchi

My favourite tv programme that I can watch over and over again and know all of the words to is Gavin & Stacey. One of my best moments is when the families are in an Italian restaurant and Bryn excitedly shouts that he wants the Gnocchi, claps his hands and causes Pam to scream. You really need to watch it to appreciate how funny it is, but safe to say anytime anyone orders Gnocchi in my company I have a little giggle.

As I was having a lazy day today, i wanted to take my time cooking a new recipe for dins and my inspiration came from a Rick Stein dish of Byzantine Spiced Crab with Gnocchi. I used his spice mix but changed the recipe by adding cherry tomatoes for extra sweetness and altering the gnocchi method (his takes too long by baking the potatoes, and I just boiled them).

Recipe Serves 2

For the Spice Mix

4 cloves
1/8tsp chilli powder
1/8tsp turmeric
1cm cinammon stick
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
1/2tsp ground coriander
1/8tsp ground ginger
Seeds from one Green Cardamon Pod

Blitz all these together in a spice grinder and leave to one side.

1 Medium Potato (180g) – peeled, chopped and boiled in salt water until soft
50g 0-0 Flour
1/2 beaten egg
Pinch of Salt

Mash the cooled potato and add in the egg. Mix together and add the flour and salt to form a smooth dough.
Break the dough into pieces and roll into “dough sausages” about 1cm in diameter. Cut into 1 inch pieces. The mixture should make 12 pieces of gnocchi.
Pop into a pot of boiling water – you will know when they are cooked because they will rise to the surface of the water when ready.

Crab & Tomato Sauce
1/2 Red Onion – finely diced
1 Clove Garlic – finely chopped
1/2 tsp Spice Mix (above)
1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tsp Tomato Puree
150ml fish or prawn stock
10 Cherry Tomatoes – halved
1 tsp butter
Small handful Chopped Parsley
100g White Crab Meat

Gently fry the onions and garlic and when softened sprinkle over the spice mix and chilli. Make sure all is mixed together and then mix in the puree. Add the stock and allow to reduce
down before stirring in the butter for extra richness and a lovely gloss. Pop the tomatoes in and heat through until softened and then add the parsley and crab meat – allow to mix and infuse into the sauce.

To serve, gently add the gnocchi (as soon as it has risen to the top of the boiling water) to the sauce. Let the sweet, spicy sauce
cover the gnocchi and enjoy with a side of greens.


Crab Linguine

Yesterday I returned from an amazing family trip to a small village in Southern Spain called Moraira. The holiday involved lots of Rioja, Paella, Olives, Tapas and Sunshine. 

A lovely little restaurant we tried was called Ca Pepe and on the first night after much deliberation I picked Iberica Pork Chop – it was so delicious I had it again on our second visit! Elix elected the Crab Linguine and it was so tasty I vowed to cook us a dish to make up for the fact that the Pork won the test for my last night meal.
I’m by no means an expert on Crab having never cooked it before and consequently Elix and I spent a good few minutes deliberating white crab meat vs brown crab meat in Waitrose! We decided on a 50:50 split but I think pure white meat would work well in the below recipe. The mix of brown and white meat we used allowed the dish to achieve a creaminess and depth of flavour from the brown meat and texture from the white meat.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
Olive Oil
1 pack Cherry Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic – sliced
Sprinkle of Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to season
100g Mixed Crab Meat
Drizzle of Lemon Juice to taste

This recipe is super simple, quick and easy.
Pop the pasta on to boil and by the time its done the sauce will be done.
Fry the tomatoes, whole until slightly charred. Drizzle some olive oil into the pan and add the garlic and chilli flakes.
When the tomatoes and garlic are softened, mash up into a chunky sauce – add some water if necessary to moisten and season to taste.
Stir through the crab meat until all incorporated. The sauce should now be creamy in look and texture. Depending on how sweet the tomatoes are, drizzle in some lemon juice to balance the sweetness with some acidity and help bring out the flavour of the crab.
Mix together with the pasta and serve.

According to Elix this meal was amazing! Beat that Ca Pepe!