We love this dish in our house! It has become one of our "go to" recipes for a Sunday evening: it is still the weekend so we reward ourselves with seafood and satisfy the desire for comfort food ahead of a busy week at the same time. As our brain is slowly going back to thinking about the weekly schedule, we like to have a meal that it is quick to make and doesn't take too much energy! We leave the more laborious dishes for Friday night or Saturday when we want to celebrate the weekend and are full of positive energy.
Ingredients (for 2 people):
~120 gr crab meat (for those local to East Dulwich, I buy the dressed crab from Moxon's Fishmongers)
400 gr (1 can) of chopped plum tomatoes (I buy Mutti's, they are by far my favourites)
1 clove of garlic (preferably smoked but not essential)
185 gr of linguine (I use Rummo's, Garofalo's, Voiello or De Cecco)
1 fresh chilly, chopped finely
Salt and pepper
Preparation time 5-10 minutes
1. Wash the parsley, chop it finely and set aside
2. Bring water to boil in a large pot. (if you are in a hurry like me, you can quickly boil it in a kettle and pour it in a pot). I use a big pot where I pour 3.5 litres of water. The more water, the better your pasta cooks. In a small pot pasta is more likely to cook unevenly or stick to the pot or itself, big pots with lots of water are ideal!
3. Drop a handful of coarse salt in the water. This may sound like a lot but it is not if you have used 3.5 litres of water, in which it will be well dissolved and only some will be absorbed by your pasta.
4. Place a pan on the hob with a spoon of olive oil. Chop finely your garlic clove and place it in the pan at low heat. This way the garlic will gently cook. Once the garlic is of golden colour, add the tomatoes. If by accident you burn the garlic, just discard it as it will have turned bitter, but keep the oil in the pan which would have absorbed its aroma. Add half a spoon of sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes. Add salt to your taste and keep cooking at low heat.
5. In the meantime drop the linguine in the boiling water (lid off) and stir a couple of times with a wooden spoon during the first two minutes. So long as the water is always vividly boiling, you do not need to check or taste your pasta, or worry about stirring it further. It will be perfectly cooked, if you have chosen one of the recommended brands above, based on the recommended minutes in the package.
6. About 4 minutes before your linguine are ready, add the crab to the tomato sauce and the chillies and continue cooking at low heat.
7. Strain your linguine and pour them in the pan with the sauce. Switch off the heat right away or your pasta will overcook. Give it a good stir and then plate.
8. At the end I would recommend adding the parsley and a bit of fresh olive oil on top of each dish, together with some back pepper, for a perfect finish!