Unlike actual sea water, dishes that taste of the sea are amazing. There are many ways to infuse your food with the essence of the ocean, such as using stocks or anchovies, but for this sumptuous seafood pasta recipe the key is using the brown crab meat as well as the white.
While white crab meat gives you the expected fresh and delicate flavour, it’s the brown meat where all the seafood flavour is. You must, MUST, include it in this dish. It’s cheaper too.
This seafood pasta recipe has a generous amount of crab. It could probably stretch to twice the amount of servings (while doubling the other ingredients). But this way is the culinary crabilicious treat you deserve…
Crab linguine with chilli
Glass dry white wine
Punnet of sweet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1tsp fennel seeds
100g brown crabmeat
100g white crabmeat
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the shallot, garlic, chilli and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, let them sizzle a little, the pour in the wine and cook for about 10-15 mins, then stir in the brown crabmeat.
3. While the tomatoes are sizzling, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.
4. Drain the pasta, reserving a few spoonfuls of the cooking water.
5. Stir pasta into sauce along with the white crabmeat, squeezed lemon, and parsley. Add the extra water if the dish seems a little dry.
6. Divide between 2 warmed pasta bowls and serve your crab linguine with chilli immediately.
A slight twist on this Italian classic seafood pasta dish, cherry tomatoes add a dash of summer colour & flavour to the Linguine Vongole recipe.
I would like to say I first ate this Linguine with clams and cherry tomatoes while holidaying in Italy, but I’m pretty sure it was at Wellington Italian eatery Mari Luca.
While I’m no longer a Kiwi resident, my clam of choice is still the New Zealand Little Neck. It is the Iron Man of clams, with an armoured shell to rival Tony Stark’s, which gives the molluscs the best chance of withstanding the journey from sea to your saucepan intact. They taste great too.
Make sure you use the sweetest tomatoes you can find, so they complement the sweet & salty clams. You won’t need to chop them as they should break down just enough while cooking, but if you prefer you can give the skin a little slice before cooking – they’ll be reminiscent of a tomato that’s burst with ripeness.
While the butter adds a smooth richness to this sumptuous seafood pasta dish, the key to getting this linguine vongole recipe right is balancing the garlic, anchovy, shallot and chilli to enhance the delicious salty clam & sweet tomato combo. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. It would be a shame to overpower the clams – even Iron Clam cannot withstand a mass flavour assault.
Linguine con Vongole e Pomodorini recipe
1kg fresh clams, washed & cleaned
1 shallot, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 chillies, finely chopped
250g very sweet cherry tomatoes
1-2 anchovy fillets, chopped
Large handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Large glass white wine
In large pan, cook linguine in salted water. It needs to be al dente, so about a minute or so less than packet instructions.
At the same time, in a larger pan on a medium heat, fry the shallot, garlic, chilli, tomatoes, and anchovy in generous glug of olive oil. After a couple minutes add a splash of wine and cook a further 5 or so mins.
Add the clams and the rest of the wine. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 2-3 mins, or until all the clams have opened. Give the pan a good shake – it’ll help the clams open up and tear the tomato skins just enough.
Drain the pasta, and toss into the clam mixture with the parsley and butter.*
Return lid, turn off the heat, and leave everything to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes. The linguine will soak up lots of the delicious cooking liquor, without cooking any further itself.
Serve in warmed pasta bowls, spooning over any remaining cooking liquor.
* You will have of course timed this to perfection, so that the clams and the linguine are ready at the same time to mix together. But if unsure about timings, it is much better to have the linguine ready before the clams. The pasta can sit a while and be heated up again with the clams, but vice versa would lead to the clams becoming tough and rubbery from overcooking.