Christmas Recipe: Fresh Pasta with Saffron and Spanner Crab


Pasta sheets, made with 2 eggs and 200g 00’ flour
2 tablespoons warm milk
Pinch of saffron threads
600g uncooked spanner crab
or 50g picked cooked crab meat
20g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 close garlic, crushed
20 medium green prawns
60ml (1/4 cup) fish stock
300ml thickened cream
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Tear pasta into stracci (‘rags’ or small pieces) and set aside to dry for about 15 minutes. Bring a large saucepan of boiling salted water to the boil.

Meanwhile, combine milk and saffron in a small cup. Cook the crab in plenty of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then refresh in a bowl of iced water. Remove the top shell from the crab and discard the grey gills (‘dead man’s fingers’) on both sides of the crab then remove the crab meat. Crack the claws with seafood crackers, a meat mallet or hammer, then extract the meat. Place butter, oil, and garlic in a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add prawns and cook for 2 minutes or until the shells change colour. Peel, clean and chop the prawns, then return to the pan with the crab meat, saffron mixture, stock and cream, and bring to a simmer. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 1 -2 minute or until al dente, then drain well. Add pasta to the sauce and toss well to combine.
Serve immediately, scattered with finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.