Crab, Chilli and Pancetta Pasta

"Pasta dishes are my favourite to make and eat, and I enjoy making fresh pasta so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my dish. I had never worked with crab before but my teacher encouraged me to branch out and try it seeing as it is in season at the moment; and seasonal availability is something I tried to consider when looking at ingredients for my dish.


Once I had my two key ingredients chosen I looked for recipes by TV chefs which incorporated them and came upon a Gordon Ramsey recipe for 'Angel Hair Pasta with Crab, Chilli and Lime'. I adapted this dish by choosing to use fresh tagliatelle instead as I felt it would add texture to the dish and it would hold the sauce well. I also added cherry tomatoes and pancetta to add flavour, colour and give it more texture."


Fresh tagliatelle

  • 200g '00' flour                                

  • 2 large eggs                                

  • Pinch of salt


  • 200g white crab meat

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • Small chunk of ginger, crushed

  • 3 red chillies, finely sliced

  • 4 large spring onions, finely sliced (diagonally)

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4 slices of pancetta, torn

  • 100ml white wine Olive oil

  • Chopped parsley


1. Combine the flour, egg and salt and knead for 5-10 mins to make the pasta; then put in a bowl, cover and let rest

2. Cook the fresh whole crab in spring water (place in cold water and bring up to the boil); crack and pick the crab meat - (store safely)

3. Roll out the pasta and cut into tagliatelle strips using a pasta machine which has been dusted with semolina flour; hang the tagliatelle on a suspended rolling pin to avoid it sticking together

4. Heat olive oil in a saute pan, then add the spring onions, chilli, garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minuets; then season

5. Add the torn pancetta and cook until slightly crispy

6. Add the white wine and some of the lime juice and reduce

7. Put the fresh tagliatelle into a pan of (salted) boiling water and cook for 3.5 minutes 

8. Add the crab meat, cherry tomatoes and some of the chopped parsley to the saute pan and toss

9. Drain the cooked tagliatelle and add to the chilli crab mix, then toss again; adjust seasoning

10. Serve in a warm bowl and sprinkle with the remaining lime juice and chopped parsley