Sometimes, you just want a light lunch. Sometimes it’s nice to pretend that it’s still spring and immerse yourself in punchy fresh flavours that make you forget that you had to drag yourself out of the warm cocoon that is your bed to face the day.
As much as I love long stews and slow cooking during the cold dreary days of winter, sometimes I feel like it doesn’t even feel like winter yet. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes I feel a little weirded out when I see the sun out, and can walk to the shops in my t-shirt and shorts. But the upside is that the sun just calls for light meals and a cold glass of crisp white wine.
And that’s where this recipe came in. I had some squid ink pasta that had to get used, and my pantry is always stocked with chilli and garlic. In this case, I used tinned alaskan crab meat, but crab meat is available in tubs at the supermarket, or feel free to use bacon or pancetta if you’d like. I know it’s not an Aglio e olio in the strictest sense, but it’s time to clear out my cupboards and it’s extremely tasty and so simple.
Here’s what I used:
Squid ink pasta
Garlic (1 clove per entree size portion, and I love my garlic.)
Bird’s eye chilli (1 chilli per clove of garlic, but feel free to use more)
Extra virgin olive oil (a nice fruity one)
1 tin alaskan crab meat
I par boiled the pasta first in salted boiling water, then finished it in a little bit of fish stock.
TENTACLES OF THE SEA!!!!
I find that finishing the last 2 minutes or so in fish stock gives it just a little bit more flavour, but you can just finish boiling the pasta in salted boiling water. Just remember that because you’re cooking it a bit further with the garlic and chilli, haven the pasta slightly underdone, so that by the time the garlic is cooked, your pasta is perfectly al dente.
While the pasta is boiling, I smashed the garlic and chilli through a mortar and pestle with some cracked black pepper and salt.
I moved the pasta from the pot into my sauté pan with a splash of fish stock, and simmered it till the stock is completely absorbed. Half a cup was all I had to use for 2 entree sized portions, but add a splash more if it isn’t enough. Then simply add the garlic paste and olive oil to the pasta, gently sauté it till the garlic loses the acrid burn, then stir through the crab meat, yuzu juice and a smidgen more oil. Scatter with some coriander to finish,
Curiously addictive and easy, this makes for a light lunch, or a simple weeknight dinner. Don’t like crab? Well it works with all sorts of meats, herbs (use parsley if you don’t like coriander), and because it’s so basic, it’s open to your wildest imaginations.