Rachel says: “One of my favourite pasta dishes of all, this classic pairing of sweet crabmeat with savoury garlic, chilli and parsley also happens to be the fastest supper around. Don’t forget to hang on to some of the pasta cooking water to add back in if it starts to dry out.”

Serves 4-6


  • 500g (1lb 2oz) linguine or other pasta
  • 45g (1¾oz) butter
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¼–½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 250g (9oz) white and some brown crabmeat (if possible)
  • 4tbsp chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the pasta and stir in one teaspoon of salt, then cook for the length of time specified in the packet instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter with the olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add the garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is just beginning to turn a pale golden colour, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving about 100ml of the cooking water. Pour the garlic-chilli butter into the pasta cooking pot, add the crabmeat and return to the heat to warm the crab through. Add the drained pasta and toss with the sauce to coat – add a little of the retained cooking water if it looks too dry. Finally, stir in the chopped parsley and serve with grated parmesan.

Recipe taken from Recipes From My Mother by Rachel Allen.

Published by Harper Collins

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