Take our word when we say that you'll want to add this beautiful recipe by OTTO Head Chef, Will Cowper, to your arsenal this Autumn...
500g blue swimmer crab meat
250g good quality dried strozzapreti, or substitute for casarecce
100ml olive oil
100ml lemon oil
750g cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped
500ml shellfish stock*
10 basil leaves
Salt, black pepper
*Ask your local seafood supplier if they have any (Will recommends visiting The Fish Factory in Morningside for all your seafood needs, including the blue swimmer crab), or read Will’s recipe below on how to make your own.
- Once you have your crab meat, make sure to pick through it for any bones, and then season with salt, pepper, and lemon oil, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat 100ml of extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the cherry tomatoes, cook them out until there is no liquid, but make sure not to colour them. Add the garlic and chilli and cook out for half a minute, then deglaze with brandy and make an emulsion with the oil and brandy. Add the shellfish stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, cook the dry pasta in a large pot, allowing 1 litre of water per 100g pasta, plus salt. When you put the pasta in the pot give it a quick stir to prevent from sticking. Cooking time will take about 10 minutes (read the label on the packet), test the pasta when you think it is ready (making sure to leave it al dente). Drain the pasta and return immediately to the saucepan with the sauce in it.
- Toss the pasta through the sauce and add the crab meat and basil leaves last minute (do not overcook the crab meat). Plate the pasta in a large bowl. Serve immediately.
WILL COWPER’S SHELLFISH STOCK
It sounds intimidating to make, but once you have your good quality blue swimmer crab (Will recommends visiting The Fish Factory in Morningside for all your seafood needs), all you need are unassuming veggies to make a delicious base for your pasta.
Method and Ingredients:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, and then roast the crab bodies and legs until golden, for about ten minutes.
- In the meantime, in a big pot, sweat ½ a carrot, ½ a brown onion,1 celery stalk (chopped), ½ a leek (chopped), and a fennel bulb in extra virgin olive oil – in that order – until caramelised.
- Add the roasted crab shells, and 1 roma tomato (chopped), and cook for a few minutes. Then add 50ml of brandy and reduce.
- Add 500ml of water, ½ a bunch of basil, and ½ a bunch of parsley stalks, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 20 minutes, and then strain through a fine chinois.