Crab & asparagus pappardelle served on a plate

Crab & asparagus pappardelle

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(15 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 2

Crab is so good to serve in the spring – combined with fresh egg pappardelle and asparagus, it makes a stunning seasonal dish. Pair it with a rocket salad

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal576
  • fat20g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs60g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre8g
  • protein30g
  • salt0.6g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • pinch of fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • small bunch parsley, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 50ml vermouth
  • 1 dressed crab (about 120g white and brown meat)
  • 200g fresh egg pappardelle
  • 200g asparagus, woody stalks removed, sliced on the diagonal (fatter stalks sliced in half lengthways)



    Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. They're…

  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • handful chopped hazelnuts


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. 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, cook for a couple of mins, then deglaze with the vermouth. Add half the crabmeat, stir to create a thick sauce, then remove from the heat while you cook the pasta.

  2. 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, add a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water to loosen and toss together, coating the pasta in the sauce. Add the rest of the crabmeat, crème fraîche and lemon juice, and warm through. Divide between plates and garnish with parsley, chives and hazelnuts.

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Comments, questions and tips

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creative worker's picture
creative worker
16th Feb, 2020
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24th May, 2019
It's easy and tasty!
Dimitar Angel's picture
Dimitar Angel
27th Mar, 2019
it was very very yummy!
12th May, 2018
This recipe was perfectly balanced and I wouldn’t change a thing (except for the cost of crab)! Doubled all quantities as I was cooking for 4 and it still turned out perfectly, the sauce managed to be both rich and light at the same time. Didn’t add hazelnuts as one of my guests had an allergy and I didn’t miss them. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.
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