Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

I have always thought that brown crab was delicious.. until I tried spider crab!

Almost weekly now, I get a spider crab delivered to my front door, already cooked by my local fishmonger.

Spider crab is cheap and very sustainable as there are plenty of them. Their meat is sweeter than brown crab but for some odd reasons the majority of UK crabs is whisked away to other countries like Italy, France and Spain where there is more of a taste for these beautiful crustaceans.

Really, it is only a matter of learning how to prepare it, most fishmongers will sell it already cooked or even dressed and ready to eat.

You can do so much with crab: from a delicate bruschetta starter to a tasty pasta or risotto.

This is a very simple and classic pasta recipe, you can use brown or spider crab for it. Just tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil and parsley.. the fish will do the rest and add all the flavour, the flavour of the sea.

Beautiful beautiful indeed.. I am totally addicted!

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes
  • Yield : 4


  • spaghetti – 400 g – 4 cups
  • spider crab cooked – 1
  • tomato sauce – 700 ml – 24 fl oz
  • cherry tomatoes – handful
  • garlic clove – 3
  • white wine – dash
  • chopped parsley – 1 tbsp
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • olive oil


First let’s clean the crab.

Rinse it under the tap and with a little knife scrape off any seaweed that might be attached to the claws.

Pull out the legs and the claws and set them aside.

Spider crab

With the help of a knife separate the body from the shell; remove the pointed/feathery gills from the central part of the body and discard. Scoop out the brown meat and put it in a bowl.

Cut the body in half. Pick all of the white flesh out of the honeycombed center and place it into the bowl.

cleaning crab with knife_

If you are not making pasta with the crab, the shell can be a nice way of serving it.

spider crab claws and legs

In a pan stir fry the garlic cloves with 3 tbsp of olive oil.

When the garlic is a little golden add the tomato sauce, the chopped cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well. Let it bubble up for 8 minutes with the lid on and then add the crab’s meat, the white wine and the parsley.

Cook for another 5 minutes over a gentle heat.

Cook the spaghetti in salty water for a couple of minutes less than it states on the packet. Drain them and add them to the sauce. Stir well over a source of heat for the remaining 2 minutes, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, stir and serve immediately.

Spaghetti with spider crab

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