A friend of mine, GW, invited us over for dinner one night and served us this delicious crab bolognese for dinner. Needless to say, I had to recreate it for myself. And as I was on Joe Wicks’ diet and exercise plan at the time, I substituted spaghetti with courgetti. Sadly, I am now off the Wicks bandwagon but there are hopes to go back on it soon!
I looked high and low for fresh fennel and found some sorry specimens that I had to settle with in Asda. It may have been the depths of winter that made it difficult, as there is fennel galore in the shops now. Also, I made do with tinned crab meat as I didn’t have the foresight to go to the fishmonger’s for fresh crab meat but it still tasted good. The dish is light and savoury and perfect for a warm summer’s evening.
1 red chilli
2 spring onions
1 bulb of fennel
1/2 a bunch of fresh basil, stalks and leaves separated
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cloves of garlic
2 anchovy fillets
1 lemon, zested
300g crabmeat (brown & white)
Spaghetti for four, or 3 courgettes, spiralized
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
- Place the chilli, carrot, spring onions, fennel, basil stalks and fennel seeds into a food processor with the fennel seeds and grind until finely chopped. Chop the garlic separately.
- Heat a pan on moderate high heat. Add the oil and fry the garlic and anchovy fillets until fragrant.
- Add the chopped vegetables and stir. Add the lemon zest.
- Meanwhile, if you’re using pasta, put it on the boil.
- Add the passata, a splash of white wine and brown crab meat, stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the white crab meat to warm it up. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If using courgetti, warm it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Top piles of spaghetti or courgetti with the crab bolognese and garnish with chopped basil leaves. Enjoy!