Pasta recipes: Laura Santini’s crab, chilli and lemon

This is one of the most popular pastas served at my restaurant Santini in London. It is light, clean, fresh and super tasty.

crab chilli and lemon
Christopher Scholey


200g cooked picked white crabmeat
A handful (about 10g) of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, squashed, peeled and halved lengthways
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
200g dried pasta or 160g fresh pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Combine the ingredients apart from the pasta in a bowl. This is a fairly loose sauce, therefore add extra olive oil if it is too dry, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. When the salted water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, but keep a cup of the cooking water.
  3. Tip the pasta back into the pan, add the crab mixture and a small splash of the retained water. Toss with gusto until creamy and well combined. Remove the halved garlic cloves and serve immediately.

TIP You can use half white crabmeat and half brown for a more intense crab flavour.

Now buy the book

pasta perfectOur recipes are from Pasta Perfect by Laura Santini, which is published by Ryland, Peters & Small, price £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99 until 11 April, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £20.