Crab and asparagus pair perfectly, and this pasta dish is great served with rocket on it's own, or with a green salad for a springtime lunch.

Serves: 2

Time: 25 minutes


1 tbsp of olive oil

A pinch of fennel seeds

Half a red chilli, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

A small bunch of flat leaf parsley, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped

Half a lemon, zested and juiced

1 tbsp tomato purée

50ml vermouth

1 dressed crab, about 120g white and brown meat

200g fresh egg pappardelle

200g trimmed and washed asparagus sliced on the diagonal

1 tbsp crème fraîche

1 tbsp snipped chives

A handful of chopped hazlenuts


Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, then add the fennel seeds, chilli, shallots, parsley stalks, lemon zest and seasoning, and fry for about 5 mins, or until softened and aromatic. Add the tomato purée and cook for a couple more minutes, then deglaze the pan with the vermouth. Stir in half the crabmeat to create a thick sauce, then remove the sauce from the heat while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. With 3 mins remaining, add the asparagus, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta and asparagus to the crab pan. Put the crab pan back on the heat and add a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Toss it all together, coating the pasta in the sauce, then add the rest of the crabmeat, crème fraîche and lemon juice, and warm through.

Serve garnished with the parsley, chives and hazelnuts.

Did you know:

The name Pappardelle actually comes from the Italian verb, pappere, which means to wolf down, or gobble up!