Cavatelli with crab, lemon and chilli sauce

Cavatelli with crab, lemon and chilli sauce
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 35 min, plus chilling

Cavatelli pasta can be a little fiddly to make, but is easy once you know how.

Find out how by watching our easy-to-follow video.

Served with the creamy crab sauce, this dreamy pasta dish is can-I-have-thirds good.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
613kcals
Fat
29.9g (7.7g saturated)
Protein
31.2g
Carbohydrates
48.9g (1.6g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
1.2g
Calories
613kcals
Fat
29.9g (7.7g saturated)
Protein
31.2g
Carbohydrates
48.9g (1.6g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
1.2g

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 200g brown crabmeat (we used Seafood & Eat It)
  • 25g butter
  • 200g white crabmeat
  • Grated zest and juice 1½ lemons
  • Bunch fresh dill, leaves picked
  • Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

For the pasta dough

  • 200g Italian ‘00’ flour (from the baking section of larger supermarkets), plus extra to dust
  • 1 large free-range egg, plus 3 yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water

For the chilli breadcrumbs

  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes

Method

  1. For the pasta dough, pulse together the flour and the egg and water mixture in a food processor until it forms a firm, slightly sticky dough. (Or mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon.) Knead gently on a clean work surface for a few minutes until smooth, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Tear off a good chunk of dough (cover the rest with a clean tea towel) and roll into a sausage shape about 1.5cm in diameter. Use a dough scraper or small sharp knife to cut off small 1cm lengths of dough. Press your thumb onto the dough to flatten slightly then, keeping the pressure on, roll it away from you so it folds around itself into an irregular curl – you’ll get better at it as you go along (see tips). Continue until you’ve used up all the dough, then set aside until ready to cook.
  3. For the chilli breadcrumbs, heat the chilli oil in a frying pan. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Leave to drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and chopped chilli. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes until soft and just starting to colour. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and bubble for a few minutes, then stir in the brown crabmeat and the butter to make a smooth sauce.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes until just cooked, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to the pan with the brown crab. Stir over a low heat, adding pasta water (up to a cupful) until the sauce is smooth and coating the pasta.
  6. Stir in the white crabmeat, lemon zest and juice, most of the dill, the parsley and salt and ground black pepper. Serve in bowls with the chilli breadcrumbs and remaining dill scattered over the top.

delicious. tips

  1. If you don’t have chilli oil, use regular olive oil and extra chilli flakes in step 3.

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Read what others say...

  1. Best crab pasta dish I have ever made. I love how the dark crab makes the creamy sauce rather than a usual tomato base. You really taste the crab but don’t scrimp the lemon, parsley or dill as it brings out the crab but cuts the richness. Delicious!

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