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Crab, lime and chili linguine

Posted in Food, and Food & Entertaining

2013-04-03 08.27.26It’s virtually impossible to find fresh crab in South Africa – you literally have to fish it yourself, or know someone who does. All our best produce disappears ‘overseas’ and I’ve taken to waving sadly at the intercontinental jets as they fly high above my house.

Tracey always asks: “What can I bring”, and I always respond: “magazines, crab and smoked tuna please”, the latter two in tins. Luckily she travels light.

We threw together a fresh, lime-y pasta last night – and lost no quality in the crab being tinned. It was lump meat crab too – so there was very little liquid. And limes are plentiful and fragrant at the moment. Everything about the dish reminded me of summer holidays. And the whole dish took 30 mins prep to table.



  • 1 packet linguine
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely slivered – I used elephant garlic which is sweeter and has less of a hefty kick
  • 1/2 red onion, thin sliced
  • 1 red Thai chilli, deseeded (or not if you like a lot of heat) and chopped or sliced thin
  • 1 green Thai chilli, deseeded (or not) and chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 x 170g tins white crab meat, drained
  • 20g (¾oz) fresh coriander, rough chopped  – not chiffonaded or it gets in your teeth (or use rocket/arugula if you aren’t a coriander fan)
  • 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil – nice and peppery if you can
  • 5 good sized limes – 4 juiced/1 quartered
  • salt

In a bowl, mix together the garlic, onion, chillies, crab meat, coriander (reserving a little for garnish), olive oil and the juice of 4 limes.

Cover the bowl with cling film and allow to macerate for 20 mins or so – check seasoning and tweak with extra lime or olive oil if neccessary.

In a large pan, put water on to boil for the linguine.

When the water has boiled, add a good handful of salt followed by the linguine. Water should be as salty as sea water, or tears.

Bring back to the boil and cook for about 11 minutes or until al dente (just tender) or your personal preference. When cooked, drain well.

Add linguine to the crab mixture and fold together gently, coating every strand. The hot pasta will warm the sauce through just slightly

Pile into 4 bowls and sprinkle with the reserved coriander. Serve each with a lime quarter.

This recipe serves four generously. Just double etc for larger gatherings. Pair it with a light larger or a fruity white for that ‘last of the summer’ feeling.

(Linguine image found here, Crab tin image campari&sofa archive)

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