1 cupolive oil 3cloves of garlic, finely chopped1fresh small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped3400gm cans cherry tomatoes (available from Italian delicatessens)1 tbsptomato paste25 gm (½ cup)peperoncino dried chillies, coarsely crushed (see note)1lemon rind, finely grated1 cupfinely chopped flat-leaf parsley1.5 kgraw blue swimmer crabs (about 300gm each), halved and cleaned500 gmspaghetti
Heat ½ cup olive oil in a large saucepan, add garlic and chilli and stir continuously over medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft. Add cherry tomatoes, tomato paste and dried chillies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add lemon rind and half the parsley, then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan, add crabs and stir continuously over medium heat for 3 minutes or until shells change colour. Add tomato sauce and combine well. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 12 minutes or until crabs are cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Return pasta to pan, add crab mixture and toss to combine, then season to taste. Transfer pasta to a large platter, scatter with remaining parsley and serve immediately.
Note Peperoncino chillies are hot, dried, small
Italian chillies and are available from The
Essential Ingredient. Substitute 1½ tbsp dried chilli