A splash of orange while cooking crabs

Fast food: carbonara with crabs & a negroni

Large pieces of crab meat are the secret of this carbonara. Celery, lemon and sherry create a fruity contrast to creamy egg yolks, fatty pancetta and hot and salty cheese.

Ingredients for 4 persons):

  • 450 g crab meat (for example king crab)
  • 150 g meaty pancetta or guanciale
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 small stick of celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pair of sprigs of thyme
  • 6 large eggs
  • about ¾ cup of grated pecorino cheese
  • about ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 450 g spaghetti
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 120 ml sherry or white wine
  • 1 small lemon
  • Spring onions and celery leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Togarashi or Old Bay for sprinkling (hot mixed spice)
  • Negroni (for serving)

For the pasta, bring 4-6 liters of water to the boil in a saucepan. Put the crab meat in a bowl and check with your fingers that there are no shards of shell left. Pick into bite-sized pieces. Cut the pancetta or guanciale into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes. Peel and chop the shallot, finely chop the celery, peel and chop or grate the garlic, strip the thyme leaves from the branches and chop.

Separate the yolks from the eggs (use the egg whites otherwise) and place in a bowl. Mix with a whisk and mix in the two types of cheese, salt and pepper. Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Heat a large pan over a medium to medium flame and pour in plenty of olive oil. Fry the pancetta or guanciale for 2-3 minutes, then add the shallots, celery, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Fry for another 2 minutes, stirring, then add sherry or white wine and crab meat.

Mix everything until the crab meat is warm and has absorbed the liquid. Then drizzle with the lemon juice. Skim off a cup from the pasta water and work it very slowly into the egg mixture, stirring a lot. Drain the pasta and add to the crabs. Take the pan off the fire and mix everything with the egg and cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the spring onion and celery leaves and sprinkle with togarashi or old bay (to taste).

A Negroni goes well with this.

Negroni:

Ingredients (for 1 person):

  • 1 orange cut into wedges
  • 4 cl gin
  • 4 cl Campari
  • 2 cl red vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitter
  • ice
  • Soda water (to taste)
  • a slice of lemon peel

Fill the glass with ice, squeeze some orange juice, add the other ingredients and stir everything slowly. Pour soda on to taste. Garnish with the lemon zest.