This light dish comes from the new recipe book ‘The Long and Short of Pasta‘ by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi, due out at end of May 18 by publisher Hardie Grant (£20). Also available for sale in Caldesi restaurants.

Over to the enigmatic Giancarlo Caldesi to introduce this one:

I always like to buy fresh crab meat when I am by the coast in the UK or Italy. The combination of a little dark meat with the white is superb and gives a richer texture and fuller flavour than the white alone. The strength of the crab can then take the kick of chilli as well as the mellowing effect of the cream. Serve this sauce with dried pasta such as linguine or with fresh tagliatelle.

SERVES 4  (as a main, 6 as a starter)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100 g (31⁄2 oz) brown crab meat
  • 300 g (101/2 oz) white crab meat
  • 100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz/scant 1⁄2 cup) Prosecco or white wine
  • 4 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
  • 320 g (111⁄2 oz) dried linguine

For the battuto

  • large handful of parsley, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • fresh red chilli, finely chopped, to taste, or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make a battuto with the 2 tablespoons of parsley, the garlic, chilli, and a pinch of salt and pepper by finely chopping them together on a board with a sharp knife.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat and fry the battuto for 3 minutes, until the garlic just starts to soften but doesn’t burn. Add the cherry tomatoes and crab meat and fry for a couple of minutes. Increase the heat and pour in the Prosecco or white wine and allow it to evaporate for a few minutes until the strong smell of alcohol has gone. Pour in the cream and shake the pan to blend it into the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta until just al dente. Take 2 tablespoons of water from the pasta saucepan and add it to the sauce in the frying pan. Drain the pasta and put this in too. Add the remaining parsley and toss or stir through briefly.

Serve straight away in warmed bowls.

Alternatively, dine with the Luxury Restaurant Club at Caldesi in Campagna and enjoy 10% reduction from your food and drinks. See here for details. Download free app below and follow steps to join Club.


Caldesi in Campagna, Old Mill Lane, Bray, Maidenhead SL6 2BE


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