Here’s another fast pasta dish that we cook on weekdays, after braving the traffic after work. Now that the weather is hot too, the oven is the last thing we want to turn on, preferring to cook on top of the stove. This pasta dish is rich, yet light; luxurious, yet still affordable. I cannot remember from where I picked this recipe up but there were a number of recipes recording some variation on crab, basil or parsley or coriander, lemon and chili a few years ago. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I didn’t actually use spaghetti for the photo, though I write it in the recipe, but I substituted fusilli lunghi, curly telephone cord-like pasta, as it was just too cute to resist in the shop.

Fusilli Lunghi with Crab, Basil and Lemon

I do believe I actually cooked this once when I started dating Blai and so there’s proof it’s perfect for cooking for your loved ones! Add a salad and a nice dessert and you’ll charm their socks (or more) off.

Spaghetti with Crab, Basil and Lemon
serves 2.

1 tin white crab meat (This time, I didn’t have access to fresh crab meat but if you do, use it! It makes a world of difference.), drained
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
large pinch of dried chili flakes
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
olive oil
250g dried spaghetti
a large handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (thinly sliced)

Set a pot of water to boil, salt it, and add the spaghetti to boil. The sauce is going to be fast!

Heat a pan over low heat and when hot, add a good glugful of olive oil. Add the garlic and chili flakes and when fragrant, add the lemon zest and stir together. Toss in the crab meat and give it all a good stir. When all is hot, turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir through. Add more extra virgin olive oil if it’s looking a bit too dry.

When the spaghetti is done, drain it and add to the sauce. Stir together, adding more oil or cooking water to loosen it as needed. Add the basil, toss again and serve.