Graham gets his claws into me – Crab and Spinach Ravioli

Crab and Spinach Ravioli (1 of 1)He’s a nice chap. Helpful, knowledgable about his fish and a pretty good salesman too. I was in George’s Fish Shop last weekend to get a couple of pieces of fish. We had a chat about the blog and classic cars (as men do). Graham mentioned that he had some lovely fresh crab claws and he would let me have them at a very good price….

I am, as anybody who knows me will testify, a sucker for a bargain. “How much would I need?” I ask. “A couple of kilo should do it for six.”, he casually replies. So, I buy two kilos of the beautiful, fresh, crab claws above. Then the reality of the preparation dawned on me. The cooking was pretty straightforward. I dropped them into boiling water for 15 minutes.

Crab claws

15 minutes in boiling water. The easiest part of the preparation.

Next, I let them cool down, then overnight in the fridge.

The claws resting at room temperature before overnighting in the fridge.

The claws resting at room temperature before overnighting in the fridge.

The next bit was the fun part. I got to use a vice grips and a hammer.

Crab claws

The tools of the gourmet chef. Hammer, vice grips and small fork for the close-in work.

Eldest daughter weighed in for an hour of cracking, bashing, tearing and picking.

Crab claws

I have a cut on my face from some flying crab shell.. It went everywhere!

Once broken open, there was a lot of fiddly work to get the meat out of the shells.

Looks easy, doesn't it? Not when you look at the pile of shells and claws in the background.

Looks easy, doesn’t it? Not when you look at the pile of shells and claws in the background.

We had two big bowls of beautiful fresh crab meat when we were finished. The crab claws did not seem like such a bargain at this stage.


Good enough and tasty enough to eat straight out of the bowls. We resisted.

Next, I got my filling ingredients together. Time for an ingredients shot.

Crab and Spinach Ravioli

All the ingredients – Crab, spinach, soft goat’s cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot chili powder.

We used about a third of the crab meat in this recipe. First, I steamed and chopped the spinach.

The spinach action shot is not up to much compared to hammering the crab.

The spinach action shot is not up to much compared to hammering the crab.

This got put into a bowl and mixed together with the other ingredients.

Also good enough to eat from the bowl. Again, we resisted.

Also good enough to eat from the bowl. Again, we resisted.

Next I made the pasta. That involved two eggs and 200 grammes of flour, a lot of mixing and kneading. Then the fun bit. Rolling out the pasta.

After a lot of practise, I am beginning to get the hang of this.

After a lot of practise, I am beginning to get the hang of this.

I do believe that pasta was invented by an octopus. I always have to get extra hands involved as we get to level six on the pasta machine. The next stage was to add the filling. I did this in bulk. Firstly, it made the production easy. Secondly, it made for nice pictures.

Bulk production leads to bulk eating as only three showed up for dinner.

Bulk production leads to bulk eating as only three showed up for dinner.

All there was left to do was wet the edges and between the filling.

Crab and Spinach Ravioli

Another nice shot of the pasta process.

Then I folded them over, pressing out any trapped air and cut them with a pizza wheel.

Crab and Spinach Ravioli

The pizza wheel gets used in another Italian dish. Eerie!

Please bear with me while I show you another shot of the ravioli. The little parcels are prevented from sticking together by semolina flour. It makes this so easy.

You just have to like this picture.

You just have to like this picture.

Last thing I did was boil them for a couple of minutes before pouring over some white sauce with parmesan.

They lasted just long enough to take this last photo.

They lasted just long enough to take this last photo.

It was a good thing that there were only three of us for dinner. We polished off the lot. I have never eaten ravioli that tasted better. It was light, flavoursome and very moreish.

Thanks to Graham getting his claws into me, we have two more goes at this delicious recipe.  Why not give it a go?

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Latest comments
  • That looks absolutely delicious- that meal is my idea of heaven! Crab, fresh pasta and goats cheese…what could be better? I must try that some time, I need to get a pasta machine. Now I have a serious case of the munchies!

    • A lot of hammer and pliers work required but worth it. Though I rarely get to use them in the kitchen.

  • Tell me you made stock out of all those shells! 🙂

    • The shells didn’t make it, I’m afraid. A freezer full of chicken and prawn stock held me back.

      • Ah if you have prawn stock already then not much point in making another shellfish one.

  • A labour of love to be sure.
    I know it is a ton of work but so worth it in the end.
    Lump crab meat from Maryland is the next best thing!
    Are you entering the Blog Awards this year?

    • Hi Mona, thanks for that.
      Yes, eldest daughter has nominated me. I have also put the widget on my page. I would like the opportunity to hook up with others too at the awards.

  • Even though it was a lot of work, the end result looks wonderful…which I’m sure it was.

    • Thanks Karen, it was worth it. We have a good lot in the freezer too.

  • I think that in *this* house, the crab-meat never would have made it as far as the mixing bowl!

  • Conor–This is great. First of all, the pictures are wonderful. Second, I was salivating by the time I got to the end of the post. Vice grips! Always interesting to see how others approach a tactical issue (we throw an old tea towel over a single layer of claws, then bash them with a slender rolling pin–no shrapnel). I can’t imagine what 2 kilos of crab would cost here. What a treat! Ken

    • The cover and bash approach has a lot of appeal Ken. I must try that the next time.

  • Looks delish!
    Next time you get some bargain crab you’ll have to make Chesapeake Crab Cakes!

  • That looks absolutely delicious and well worth the hard work 😉

    • Those not involved in the work thought so…

  • Clearly worth every bit of the work. Even the injury.

    • Yes Michelle. I have recovered and look forward to the next encounter.

  • Busy in the kitchen with crabs and a camera! Some excellent food shots there Conor and the food looks fantastic!

    • Thanks Cookie. It was a fun meal to prepare and even better to eat.

  • You should produce a book such great photos – I think I’ve said that before. Re shellfish – I spent an hour preparing mussels which took about 5 minutes to cook and eat – it’s a lot of work but (probably) worth it!

    • As long as you are sharing and they tell you that they appreciate your efforts, it’s worth it.

  • Love crabs claws, always nice to come home and find a gifted bag hanging on the door handle, then It dawns on me I need to put an hour or two aside to prep them, but always worth it, and your recipe stretches their deliciousness in an elegant way. I usually conserve the cooking liquor as a stock – if I have space in the freezers. Thanks.

    • Thanks for that. I love the idea of the bag waiting on the door handle.

  • I love crab and this looks and sounds delicious! It is a lot of work to get out of the shells, and I usually end up having some small pieces of the shell still mixed in with the crab meat. I like that you made ravioli with the crab meat. Was this your first stuffed pasta? Ravioli are my favorite pasta — I’m not surprised you liked it so much. I’ve done crab ravioli with ricotta, with raw tomato and basil for the ‘sauce’. Another great post, Conor!

    • Thanks Stefan. The production concept is no stranger to you. I was inspired by the ravioli you cooked for us earlier in the year. Please take a bow!

      • I have since started using a piping bag for fillings that are sufficiently soft. It speeds up the production process by quite a bit — I have yet to do a post. I like to work so quickly that the dough is still moist enough and I don’t need to brush with water.
        P.S. Did my spicy pork belly post show up in your reader? There seems to be a problem again 🙁

        • Thanks Stefan. I move at a slightly slower pace though, in my head, I am at lightening speed.
          Yes, your post did show in the reader. I have been away on a course over the past couple of days and have been pretty time poor so I have not been doing the reading.

          • No problem. I was just worried there was another problem again as it was one of the tastiest things I ever posted and initially there was hardly anyone liking or commenting. By now it seems to be fine though.

          • I blame the Summer Slump. I notice the overall numbers fall off in June and July, making a recovery from mid August on. Either that or you are losing your touch, which I very much doubt.

          • It’s always hard to predict what will generate a lot of likes and comments and what won’t. Desserts usually work, so I should probably do another one of those.
            You are right about the Summer Slump. Since we don’t really have summer weather yet, I suppose I was expecting the summer slump to stay away, too 😉

  • Bellissimo! It looks like you’ve got yourself a really nice ravioli-making operation. Seems like a lot of effort – but well worth it, I’m sure. Crab and spinach is such a great pairing, and that white sauce takes it to the next level.

    • Thanks Tommy. They work well together and the goats cheese really helps.

  • This has been an absolutely delicious and inspiring journey and your ‘assembly line’ seemed to work more than adequately! OK, took some time, but 1/2 the work or more has been done now for two more delicious meals! Good’on’ya, as we say Down Under 🙂 !

    • Thanks Eha, Always great to see such positive comments in the inbox when I get up in the morning.

  • OH! YUM!

  • Fantastic ravioli, Conor! That was a great price for the claws and you did what I would have done: make ravioli! I bet you all enjoyed them. Well done, Sir!

    • Thanks John, All in the interest of cooking fun.

  • I got a couple of bags of claws AND legs a little while back. Legs were a big mistake. It took about an hour of cracking, picking and sifting the shell for a small bowl of meat! Such fabulous flavour though, worth probably the effort on reflection.

    Great looking Ravioli Connor.

    • Hi Phil,
      I would avoid the legs. I am patient but not that patient.

  • You are one damn dashing chef ! So no wonder a chicken-chef like me would fall for your over the top charming recipes 🙂
    Love all your interactive photos…hammer…grip…pasta making hands….(you have no idea how big of a genius you are)
    Love you. Big time !

    • Thanks, As ever Nusrat, you bring a sparkle to proceedings.

  • hi there,
    this looks amazing! Crab claws is one of my absolute seafood favorites! After having so lovingly got all the meat out I might have been tempted to just eat it but the ravioli looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing, I am inspired to have seafood for dinner!

    • Excellent Petra. I am delighted you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Looks lovely! If only I could get my husband to eat crab! Maybe I should make this and just not tell him….hmmmm… 🙂
    My best – B

  • what an awesome recipe. all the hammering is definitely worth it! seeing you making fresh pasta gets me jealous. Looks like i got to pick a date to start trying and failing 🙂

    • Without failure, there can be no success. Give it a go!

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