Crab Carbonara – And you thought this was a meat blog?

Crab Carbonara (13 of 13)One man’s meat. It looks like I have completely forgotten what I am supposed to be at here. Meat should be beef, lamb, pork, venison, buffalo and various parts of big things that run around on four legs. They usually frighten us two-legged ones when we see them in the wild. Right? Well, yes and no. Yes, that might be one’s interpretation. It might have even been my interpretation at one stage. But now, I have broadened the brief and I am officially including anything that once lived. This is because I have been preparing and cooking poultry, fish and an occasional (very occasional) salad as well as the more robust horned ones that tend to chase us around the place when we visit the countryside.

For this post, I am going to the sea once again and flagrantly promoting the wonderful Irish crab available in abundance off our shores. The crab is caught and cooked fresh (a bit too fresh for the crab’s liking) in salted water. The experts remove every delicious morsel of meat from inside the hard-shelled creatures. I have given this a go myself with only minimal personal injury and plenty of meaty success. This time, I am deferring to the experts at Quinlan’s Fish and using their prepared fresh crab meat to cook a delicious Crab Carbonara.

The ingredients list is shorter than a sunny weekend and just as nice.

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 150 grammes of 00 flour
  • 150 grammes of fresh crabmeat
  • A handful of garden fresh parsley
  • 1 red chili

First thing to do is to make the pasta. To do this you will need a pasta machine. If you don’t have one, reduce the ingredients list above by 2 eggs and the flour. Replace it with some tagliatelle. Be warned, it will not be nearly as nice as the fresh pasta.

Add the flour, an egg and a yoke to a stand mixer.

Don't throw out the spare egg white. That will be added a bit at a time for perfect pasta.

Don’t throw out the spare egg white. That will be added a bit at a time for perfect pasta.

Beat this as shown below until the flour has absorbed all the egg.

The dough is in need of some white to be added. Do this carefully.

The dough is in need of some white to be added. Do this carefully.

Add some egg white and mix. Continue until you have a nice pasta looking lump of dough in the bowl. Then change the hook to a dough hook and beat it on slow speed for ten minutes. At the end, you will have a nice lump of dough that looks something like this photo.

Perfect pasta looking dough ball. Use this for reference. There is no substitute for practice.

Perfect pasta looking dough ball. Use this for reference. There is no substitute for practice.

Place the dough in cling film and leave in the refrigerator for an hour. Use some of this hour to beat the remaining egg and a half. Bring a big pot of water to the boil.

Beat it up until it has a consistency of colour and texture.

Beat it up until it has a consistency of colour and texture.

Make the pasta, rolling it as thin as you dare.

Pasta doesn't get much better than this. Can you see the Wife's hand through it?

Pasta doesn’t get much better than this. Can you see the Wife’s hand through it?

Add the slicing attachment and cut into nice strips as shown in the photo.

That's my hairy hand this time. See the translucent pasta.

That’s my hairy hand this time. See the translucent pasta.

Add the pasta to the water and boil it for a couple of minutes until almost cooked through. Strain the pasta. Add a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking and return it to the pot. Add the egg.

Raw egg and barely cooked pasta. Are you sure? Yes, I'm sure.

Raw egg and barely cooked pasta. Are you sure? Yes, I’m sure.

Add the parsley chilli and crab meat and stir well. The egg will cook in the warm pasta. The crab meat will cling to the pasta using the egg as a kind of glue.

That's far too much crab meat for two people. Yes. There was plenty for four.

That’s far too much crab meat for two people. Yes. There was plenty for four.

Serve with a nice glass of Italian (it would have to be Italian) white wine.

The totally gratuitous wine shot. This proved to be a nice drop of Italian white.

The totally gratuitous wine shot. This proved to be a nice drop of Italian white.

Serve it in warm bowls. Anybody who ate it agreed that my widening of the ‘One Man’s Meat’ brief was wholly justified. I hope you agree.

I am totally justified in promoting Irish crab and Italian wine in 'One Man's Meat'. You agree, don't you?

I am totally justified in promoting Irish crab and Italian wine on ‘One Man’s Meat’. You agree, don’t you?

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Latest comments
  • Very pretty Conor and I know delicious!

    • Thanks Rosemary. Replying from Libourne, just outside BDX. I’m not staying on here for long. Too much wine to try and duck to eat.

  • I think you are totally justified in branching out. Meat is, after all, an archaic term for any kind of food, and you could therefore argue that almost anything you put in your mouth is grist to the Bofin mill…

    • Thanks Kate, that is certainly grist to this mill.

  • Delicious. Laughed at your advice re lack of a pasta machine – having tried it the other way I can say, hand on heart, you’re absolutely right.

    • Thanks Linda, your kind comment earned you an edit.
      Best,
      C

      • Typo? Or just me being thick?

        • Let’s settle on thicko then! On second thoughts, let’s not. I have a from of arthritis in my right hand that is slowly, ever so slowly, tying up my joints. My handwriting (I’m a leftie, thanks be to goodness) has always been like a doctor’s. Now my typing, once pretty good, now needs to be re-read before anything is posted or sent. Such is life.

          • Sorry to hear that. I type two-fingered but fast and don’t always read through what I’ve written properly before hitting the send button. Apologies for any inadvertent obscenities.

          • Keep ’em coming. It makes language more colourful.

  • this looks amazing.

    • Thanks. I was happy with the pictures, for once!

  • Fantastic, I could eat that for lunch 🙂

    • Thanks MD. We had it for evening meal and then Wife scoffed the balance, cold for lunch. She reports that it was delicious.

  • it looks really good! Pasta with one or two ingredients is the way I like!

    • Thanks Juan, Best to keep it simple with good ingredients. That’s what works for me, most of the time.

  • I agree and this looks great Conor! May you and yours be well! ^..^

    • Thanks Barb. We are currently in France, near Bordeaux, having difficulty seeing the computer screen because of the bright sunshine. Happy Days!

      • Enjoy your trip Conor! Happy days to you too!

  • Nothing like fresh pasta! I love making it. This looks wonderful!!

    • Thanks Debbie for the kind comments. I have had various experiences with the pasta making. This time it worked well and I learned a bit about method. Onwards and upwards!

  • Never occurred to me to use crab in pasta carbonara. What a great idea! Looks fantastic Conor.

    • Thanks. If the crab is good, the carbonara will be wonderful. This crab was excellent.

  • Interesting use of a seasonal local ingredient. Bravo. Will have to give it a go on this side of the pond with our local dungeness. We don’t get those until late winter/early spring. I’ll keep it on the back burner until then!

    • I look forward to seeing it produced. Thanks for the kind words.

  • A fabulous twist! And fresh pasta is hard to beat.

  • Meat schmeat. You are free to make whatever you like, Conor. Especially homemade pasta and this seafood-y twist on carbonara. Although, I think I could devour a plate of your fresh pasta with nothing but the egg, so there’s that. Great stuff!

    • Thanks Tommy. Always great to see your comments coming up here. I hope all is good in Texas.

  • Really a gorgeous dish, and the last shot is a show-stopper! Gratuitous. 🙂 One Man’s Fish….

    • Thanks Shanna, I really could not avoid using it. This stuff makes itself easy to shoot.

  • Envy – the ability to whip out the pasta machine on demand and then be able to put it away and remember where you put it. I’ve got one but have no idea where the thing is!

    • That’s because you did what most people do. You bought it in a fit of zeal and self delusion. Buy some pasta flour and get the thing out again. You won’t regret it.
      Best,
      C

      • One day…one day. If England win the World Cup.

        • Hmmm. There’s always ebay if you want to get rid of it that badly.

  • Delightful and so simple if you have that fresh and unctuous Irish crab . . . . actually I have always thought of ‘One Man’s Meat’ as ‘One Man’s Meal’ anyways – never thought of it as meat exclusive 🙂 !!

    • Thanks Eha, I think I will stick with the more liberal interpretation from here on out. It’s more fun for me, for sure.

  • One Man’s Crab and Pasta? Somehow, I don’t think E.B. White would complain about that. Looks absolutely delicious!

    • One quote from the great man; “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
      I should pay more attention to him.
      Best,
      C

  • Anything with real crab meat is a good thing. See? Crab “meat.” So you are totally justified.

    • Shhhhhhh. If the others read that, they will see that there was no reason to write this post…

  • I agree, for sure. It’s more meat than perhaps a carrot, or even a potato is…

    • I may have to prepare a carrot and potato soup in an effort to confound you Nick. I am in France on the hols. I brought the bike. I have been out cycling between the vines. Heaven on earth.
      Best,
      C

  • Superb dish Conor and made all the better by making your own pasta (I get a deep sigh from my wife when she sees the pasta machine coming out – chaos normally ensures…). A glass of that white would go down quite nicely at the moment too.

    • The pasta making gets easier with practise. I know because I have made a mess of it so often. I also ‘involve’ the wife (as you can see) in the process. That helps on the domestic harmony front. (I hope she dose not see this comment!)

  • Beautiful and perfectly simple dish! Say hello to Stephane!!!

    • Thanks Mimi. I will. We are meeting tomorrow and heading to a market (where else).

  • I must be on the wrong page..where is the meat? What a stunning pasta. I’m so impressed. Crab is so delicious. You really are so talented, Conor.

    • Too kind Amanda. Too kind by half. Though, I am having fun doing it.

  • You are too good!

  • Very nice, Conor! I have been away from all the blogs but came back for this! I really want some crab right now!
    Hope all is well.

    • Thanks Tonette,
      I really enjoyed putting this one together. As somebody in the A Team once said “I love it when a plan comes together”.
      Best,
      C

  • Look delicious!
    No cheese?

  • Crabmeat AND Falanghina–great combo. I’m sure the charcoal makers of Emilia Romagna would love a seafood alternative once in awhile. Ken

    • And I would be happy to be there cooking it for them. We are holidaying just outside Bordeaux at present. The WiFi is not strong enough to let me. See your French pics. A treat in store…

  • Great minimalist recipe, Conor. I bet it tasted very elegant. I also bet the Falanghina was excellent with it.

    • Yes Stefan, the paring worked very well. Not an expensive bottle but just right for this.

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