Crab spaghetti in a tomato and caper sauce

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 6

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


  • 100g/3½oz pancetta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 x 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml/9fl oz fish stock
  • 1 red onion, left whole, peeled and trimmed
  • ½ fresh green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • pinch saffron
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 500g/1lb 2oz dried spaghetti
  • 600g/1lb 5oz mixed cooked brown and white crab meat
  • handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • knob of butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Fry the pancetta in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the olive oil and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and fish stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the whole onion, chilli, saffron and sugar and simmer gently for 10 minutes with the lid on.

  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.

  3. Stir the crab meat into the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and capers and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the whole onion and discard.

  4. Drain the spaghetti and add to the tomato sauce along with a knob of butter. Stir well to coat the spaghetti with the sauce, transfer to platter and serve.

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