Soft-Shell Crab Pasta – Make a Perfect Weeknight Meal

Serves:  2 – 3
Preparation 30 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Total 1 hour

If you think that soft-shell crabs are some mysterious restaurant ingredient, think again and try this pasta dish!

I always keep some frozen soft-shell crabs in the freezer to have on-hand for this dish.







Crab soft shell pasta ingredientsLinguine 250 to 300g
(I add the full 500g package if I have guests or want extra)
8-12 Softshell Crabs (I usually use this amount, but the minimum would be 4-6)
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 Cloves Garlic sliced (or more if you like garlic)
Pinch of chili flakes (or add to taste)
Handful of parsley
Salt and pepper

Allergens: For those of you with allergies please remove or substitute accordingly.

Step 1

  • Defrost the softshell crabs for 30 minutes.
    While the crabs are defrosting finely slice the garlic cloves.
    Fill a saucepan or pot with water and add salt (it should be salted enough to taste like the sea) and bring it to the boil.
    Add your pasta and cook until it’s just al-dente or still firm when eaten, then use a colander and strain the pasta, keeping a large cupful of the pasta water to finish cooking with the crabs.  (Note: The water can be added to the dish later if to the sauce seems dry or the pasta undercooked).

Step 2

  • While the pasta is cooking, warm your frying or sauté pan on a medium heat and add the butter and oil.
    Once the butter has melted and is warm, add the chili flakes and garlic.
    Cook the garlic until it just starts to brown, now add the soft-shell crabs, and cover the pan with a lid.
    The soft-shell crabs will cook in their own juices and turn red and a little crispy when they are done. This will take between 5 – 10 minutes.
    Remove the pan from the heat and use sharp scissors to cut each crab into 4-6 pieces, the pieces don’t have to be all the same size.
    Return the pan to the hob still on a medium heat.

Step 3

  • Add the slightly undercooked hot pasta to the frying or sauté pan with the crabs.
    Mix the pasta with the cut crab pieces for a minute stirring continuously.
    If the pan looks like it’s starting to dry out, or, if the pasta tastes too firm, add some of the pasta water and cook a little longer.
    Turn off the heat and mix in the parsley.

Dish up and add a good drizzle of virgin olive, salt and pepper to your taste, and Enjoy.




This recipe was created by Ed Gyurko for Steve Hatt Fishmonger.