Dinner Tonight: Linguine with Crab and Chili

My seven-foot tall Sun Gold tomato plant is ripening with beautiful orange cherry tomatoes faster than I can use them (see last week's recipe). My favorite use by far though involves pasta. This particular one comes from my food hero Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall via an episode from his television series called The River Cottage. After diving for spider crabs, he prepares this for fellow diving mates on the beach.

Next time I'll remember not to skimp on red chilies or chili flakes—their spicy flavor is crucial to livening the mild flavor of crab meat and pasta. I'd also use only half as much crab as called for, and spend the saved money on a better quality version from the fishmonger (the refrigerated canned brand from Trader Joe's was hard to resist at $9). Otherwise, this is a beautifully simple dish that can only be properly made during the summer.

About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.

Dinner Tonight: Linguine with Crab and Chili

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About This Recipe

Yield:4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound crab meat, picked over for any bits of shell
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1–2 small red chillies, de-seeded and sliced, or 2 large pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, such as Sungold
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Procedures

  1. 1

    Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Cook the linguine until al dente, reserving some pasta water.

  2. 2

    In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over a medium flame. Add the garlic and cook gently for 2 to 3 minutes, then toss in the chili or chili flakes and cook until the garlic is soft but not yet brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and beginning to burst.

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