Dressed Crab Linguine

Something special for St Valentine's Day.

Crab Linguine is perhaps my wife's favourite meal.

I make it up for her quite a lot using courgette linguine, but once in a while she really hungers for proper linguine which we don't have in the house since moving away from eating grains. Starches have a role in the paleo diet and so, sourcing a gluten-free pasta made from cornstarch and rice flour, I was happy that the linguine was inoffensive enough to eat.

To work ...

Take a dressed crab, collect the white meat and set aside in a bowl. Chop some parsley or coriander and some chilli. Add to the white crab meat along with a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Make up a velouté from the brown meat. Velouté is a classic French sauce meaning velvety and made from stock, roux and cream. We don't need the flour part of the roux since this will be thickened with the butter alone, cream and crab meat.

In a pan, melt some butter and whisk in fish stock with an egg whisk. Keep the stock alongside to top up as necessary, but the heat should be kept low after the initial melting. Put the brown crab meat in and stir around, adding more stock.

Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the largest pieces and any white meat that got in there - you can put this sieved meat into the white crab meat bowl so there is no waste. Add a little cream and set the pan to reduce and thicken.

Boil the linguine as per instructions, drain off and drop into a frying pan with some butter. Toss in the butter and then add in the white crab meat mixture. Toss together.

When you are ready to serve, collect the linguine and turn it back into the crab shell. Garnish with a couple of coriander leaves.

Set the shell in a lake of velouté or have the velouté alongside in a pouring vessel. It is also fun to whizz up a small portion of velouté with a hand blender to spoon the froth over the linguine.