Ink pasta with courgettes and crab
Saturday 05 June 2010
Freshly-picked crab meat is a real treat and what's more, you can make a good crab stock and dressing and/or a soup from the shell. Pasta that is flavoured and coloured with cuttlefish or squid ink is pretty easy to find these days, or you can use any other long or short pasta for this dish – it's up to you. I haven't specified a type of pasta here as different shops stock different types.
You will have extra stock left over to use another time, and any leftover brown meat from the crab you can just mix with mayonnaise and spread on buttered toast.
150-200g ink pasta
1 or 2 crabs weighing about a kilo, cooked, white meat removed
Greek basil, to garnish
The juice of half a lemon
1tsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
2tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium courgette
For the crab stock
2tbsp vegetable oil
The shells from the crab, broken into piece
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
10 black peppercorns
A few sprigs of thyme
A good pinch of saffron
2tbsp tomato purée
2 litres fish stock
First make the stock: heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the crab shells, onion and fennel on a low heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour, skimming every so often. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve, then transfer half of the stock to a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced down to about a tablespoon or so, then transfer to a bowl. You can freeze the rest for another time or make it into a soup.
Whisk the reduced stock with the lemon juice, mustard and oils and season to taste. Cut the courgette into 4cm lengths then cut into ¼cm slices and shred them into matchstick-like pieces.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the manufacturer's cooking instructions, and then drain and leave to cool.
To serve, toss the pasta with the courgettes and dressing and arrange in serving bowls or one large bowl. Scatter with the white crab meat and Greek basil.
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