Thursday 14 August 2008

Recipe: Crab Sauce for Pasta

There's a been a recent resurgence of fresh pasta in this household - yes, I know, all those carbohydrates....but making it is so satisfying, and the end-result is so delicious! Once you're practiced, the process of making, rolling and cutting fresh pasta is very quick - three minutes to make the pasta dough in a food processor, then 30 minutes to rest and perhaps a further 20 minutes to roll and cut enough pasta for five people (and add another 20 minutes if you're making a stuffed pasta, rather than merely making strips....last night we had cappelletti filled with a ricotta and parsley stuffing, which was ethereally light). One tip I would stress, though, is only ever to use italian "00" flour - the result in comparison with ordinary plain flour is enormous, and I see that "00" is now generally available in UK supermarkets, and not expensive

At the start of the week, lacking inspiration for that evening's menu I asked for suggestions, and the Technical Department immediately jumped in with a request for Fettuccine with Crab Sauce. Fair enough. Except I then couldn't actually find a recipe anywhere for it - I was surprised to discover that Marcella ignores Crab altogether!

So I made it up.

For Two*

*In fact, the quantity of pasta dough quoted here is sufficient for four or five people - but since the quantities don't efficiently pro-rata down, I always make this amount, and use half of it on one day and the remainder on the following day; it keeps perfectly well if wrapped in clingfilm and kept in the fridge for that time.

Ingredients: fresh pasta, made with 2 cups of "00" Flour, 3 medium Eggs, 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil, and a generous pinch of fine Salt (this recipe is fine for any of the 'flat' pasta shapes: fettuccine, tagliatelle, papardelle...); 1 dressed Crab; 1 oz Butter; 1 Salad Onion; 1 cup Double Cream; 1 tablespoon of Brandy; 1 small pot of lumpfish 'Caviar'.


1. While the water is coming to the boil for the pasta, finely dice the Onion and wilt it in the Butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Add the cream, a forkful of Crab, and the Brandy; stir and heat through.

2. As the water comes to the boil, add Salt and a dribble of Oil to the water, then cook the Pasta - it might take a minute, in all. As soon as it is done, drain the pasta into a colander, and tip the Cream sauce and the remaining Crab into the pasta pan. Stir quickly to mix it all together, taste and adjust the seasoning, then return the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat the pasta in the sauce.

3. Serve in heated bowls, and put a spoonful of Lumpfish Caviar on top of each serving - the combination is glorious!