P E N N E  W I T H  L E M O N  C R A B ,  

P E A S  A N D  P R O S C I U T T O

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus picking crab


Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Season: Fresh crabs from the English coastal

waters are in season from May until October

100 ml double cream

1 lemon unwaxed or organic

2 dried chillies de arbol (available from Cool

Chile Co.)

12 thin slices prosciutto

15 g fresh mint

100 g Parmesan, plus extra for garnishing

1.25 kg undressed crab (yielding about 200 g

white and 100 g brown meat)

340 g dried penne

200 g fresh peas

It is essential to have all ingredients ready before the pasta starts cooking.  So, measure out the cream, grate the zest of the lemon and squeeze the juice.  Measure out the peas.  Chop the dried chillies and remove the prosciutto from any packaging.  Wash and remove the leaves from the mint, stack them up and have them ready to be thinly sliced.  Grate 100 g of Parmesan and set aside for use later on.  Have bowls or plates warm and ready for service.

Pick over the crab meat.  Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the penne al dente according to the packet's instructions, usually about 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking place a small saucepan on the stove to gently warm the cream.  Once the cream has scalded or formed a little skin on top, turn off the heat, fold in the crab meat and set aside.

During the last 2 minutes of cooking the pasta, toss the peas into the pasta pot.  After the 2 minutes have passed, drain the pasta through a sieve, reserving about 120 ml of pasta cooking liquid.

Add the lemon juice to the cream-crab mix along with the lemon zest.  Chop the mint leaves and sprinkle them over the cooked pasta, along with the chopped dried chillies and Parmesan.  Spoon the hot, lemony crab meat over the pasta and toss to coat.  Add the reserved 120 ml of pasta cooking liquid and heat gently over a low flame.

Spoon into warm bowls and top with pieces of prosciutto and a few large shavings of Parmesan.