Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spaghetti with Crab and Surprise Tomatoes

I've reached the point in my cooking life where I've started to base my homecooked meals on what I have on hand, or what looks good at the grocer or supermarket.  This doesn't happen for parties, or when I've decided to make something in particular, obviously, but lately certain ingredients have been looking rather fetching.

Case in point: these red truss tomatoes.  Usually, my local supermarket has very ordinary ('sub-par') fruit and veg, all pasty, powdery and phewy.  I've been disappointed before, so I am wary.  But these tomatoes tasted as good as they looked (and only $3.98/kg!).  Hopefully they (yes, Woolworths, I'm talking about you) will get their act together now that summer is approaching and the exotic and tropical fruits begin to appear.

With surprise tomatoes in hand, I used this recipe which is based on one from the Gourmet Traveller site, and it's as easy to make as it is to eat.  Red, red tomatoes notwithstanding.

Crab and Tomato Spaghetti
serves 2

60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 anchovy fillets
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped into 2cm (1 inch) pieces
200g crabmeat (I used tinned, but fresh would be better)
300g dried spaghetti or other long pasta
2 tblsp parsley, chopped (I used salsa verde)

1.  Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion and garlic and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened.
2.  Add anchovy fillets and stir until dissolved.  Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes.
3.  Stir in the crab and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4.  Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain and add to crab mixture.
5.  Toss to combine and serve topped with parsley.

Cooking the pasta; ingredients, including crab and anchovies

Serve with parsley - or salsa verde, which also has anchovies in it


  1. Oh I love how deliciously simple and fresh this dish is! I really need to use crab more in my cooking. Yet another ingredient I love to eat yet never seem to use in my own kitchen.

  2. Gorgeous! Aren't really good tomatoes such a revelation? Really emphasises how bland the tomatoes we usually get are.

  3. So fresh and so simple, no meat either! It's good that Woolies is stocking this type of stuff, don't always have time to goto the fruit and veg store!

  4. hahaha, 90% of my cooking is based on what I have lying around. I have spaghetti in the pantry, and tomatoes in the fridge....I just need crab....I have tuna though. DONE! lol. Its always a surprise for Daz, whats in the mystery dish for dinner tonight!?!

  5. hi Conor - I've tried to find fresh crab at the fish shop, but it's so expensive. Luckily the canned stuff isn't too bad.

    hi Lorraine - homegrown tomatoes are lovely, but only if you have a green thumb, ie. not me!

    hi Howard - some of the fresh stuff Woolies has is often terrible, but you're right, it's more convenience than anything else.

    hi Maria - lol! I should take that approach! I usually ask what he wants and he says 'Something nice'. I must serve something 'not nice' one day...