Summer is fast approaching, which serves as the perfect time to christen the warmer weather with inspired dinner parties. Australian’s are known for our fine wine and food culture, and we love nothing better than playing host to a few friends and curating a perfectly tasty evening from start to finish.
But even as we shift into swimsuit season, if there is one winter comfort meal that we can’t forfeit, it’s pasta. Thankfully Paola Toppi, owner and head chef at Bar Machiavelli, has shared with us her recipe for blue swimmer crab pappardelle, a perfect summery treat that incorporates much-loved flavours—crab, fresh tomato, garlic, and chilli. And most importantly, it’s super easy to make (but you don’t need to tell your friends that).
Toppi says of the recipe, "This is a beautiful and rather unconventional spring dish for those that love the sweetness and richness of fresh crab coupled with traditional Neapolitan flavours."
Keep scrolling for the recipe and see below how we would serve up this dish.
Blue Swimmer Crab Pappardelle
Prep time: About 30 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Salt and pepper
100 ml extra virgin oil
4 cloves of crushed garlic
Fresh chili, to taste
4 chopped anchovy fillets
400 g pappardelle
400 g blue swimmer crab meat
400 g cherry tomatoes, halved
12 basil leaves
1 cup of white wine
A very light fish stock, optional, to taste
Finely chopped chives, to garnish
- Boil 4–6 litres of water in a large saucepan. Add salt to taste (about 10 g per litre). While waiting for the water to boil, heat oil, garlic, chili, and anchovies in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Heat mixture gently and try not to let it brown too much as the garlic will get bitter.
- Once water boils, add pappardelle. Cooking time is approximately 1–2 minutes for freshly made pasta. If you’re using store-bought pasta, cook according to the packet’s instructions.
- Increase heat under frying pan. Add crab meat, tomato, and basil, then add white wine. Cook until liquid has reduced.
- Strain cooked pasta and add to pan. Toss quickly. If you find pasta is absorbing liquid too quickly, add hot fish stock as needed. Alternatively, if there is no fish stock available, use the salted water from the pasta pot. Usually homemade pasta will absorb liquid quickly, so you will need the extra. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.