I love living in London. There are always a thousand amazing things to do and a million delicious things to stuff your face with – the barometer by which I judge all things in life. The only time that I become less than enamoured with the city is when summer gets into real, sweaty swing. It feels as though the whole place shrinks. Suddenly instead of a sprawling, exciting metropolis it becomes a heavily perspiring mass of pissed off, ruddy commuters who all seem to be squashed into whichever overripe tube carriage I happen to be melting in. At this point all I want to do is send forth a barrage of swearing, drop everything and get the hell out. Judging by the looks on my fellow commuters’ faces, I am not alone in this.
When temperatures (and tempers) soar, I just want to sit in front a fan with a heavily iced gallon of gin and tonic and a bowl of something light to eat. Often I turn to seafood. This pasta recipe ticks all the boxes. It is fresh, summery and it couldn’t be more simple to put together – which is crucial because, let’s face it, the last thing anyone wants at this point is hours slaving away in a hot kitchen. Garlic and chilli are gently heated in olive oil until aromatic before being folded through mafalda corta pasta along with freshly podded peas, asparagus and a generous helping of delicate white crab meat. It takes fifteen minutes, tops, so you can be out of the kitchen and back in front of the fan in no time!
Mafalda Corta Pasta with Crab and Fresh Peas
I love mafalda corta pasta for this recipe as it catches the garlicky oil beautifully (and I just quite like the shape!) but feel free to use whatever pasta shape you like. Linguine is a classic choice to go with crab.
Frozen peas would work really well here too, and obviously are super convenient, but if you can get hold of fresh peas then it is well worth it.
- 400g mafalda corta pasta
- 4 tbsp top quality olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium red chilli, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
- 200g picked white crab meat
- 200g podded peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 bunch of asparagus, woody stem removed and cut into small pieces
- Handful of pea shoots
- Half a lemon
Cook the pasta in a generous pan of salted boiling water until al dente – my pasta took roughly nine minutes. When the pasta is a minute away from being ready add the asparagus to the pan. Drain.
Gently heat the olive oil in a large, non stick frying pan. Add the chopped chilli and garlic and fry over a medium flame until the garlic is aromatic and just starting to turn golden. Turn the heat right down.
Add the pasta, asparagus, peas, pea shoots and crab meat to the frying pan and toss well to coat everything in the garlicky oil and to warm the crab and peas through. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.