18 June 2012

Chilli Crab Fettucine

♬ 'Alright Still' by Lily Allen

I miss Lily, not that we were best mates! Her outlandish and hilarious lyrics on this album makes me nod with everything she says. Now it seems she has disappeared and just getting on with life: good for her. I would love to make her a good cup of tea, bake an amazing cake, and just chat about what she's up to. Until that day I will continue wishful thinking and write about luscious food.

Fish glorious fish. The only thing I can stomach at the moment. My unfortunate illness left me bed bound and I felt abysmal last weekend, also surviving on pulverised foods similar to a baby's diet wasn't pleasant. Onwards and upwards people...with a few pounds to my name I invested in a can of chopped tomatoes, white tinned crab meat (listen it's not as bad as it looks) and a packet of fettucine. Crab was a spontaneous and rather expensive choice, actually chosen because it reminded me of staying at my grandma's. An after school trip I didn't really enjoy, only when we went to the market did I have a skip in my walk. She would haggle with the fishmongers about the size and price of a decent crab and after I was always allowed to carry the blue polythene bag with the sad crab wrapped in newspaper. Once home she unravelled the crab and the poor thing was upside down all tied up, so I turned it the other way and cut the string loose. Gran went mad and that's when I was shooed out the kitchen. I would stand by the door and hear the snap crackle and pop of the poor crab being torn apart. Of course this didn't deter me at dinner time, the crab was soaked in curried tomato broth. Yum.
 Tonight's result is very far from what my genius grandma produced, but hey the above is a comforting basic dish with not much creativity going in, sometimes simple works best on a Monday. Poultry and meat are a tad boring and I get more excitement stepping into the fishmongers and annoying the guys in Crouch End, pestering them about all the species they have swimming about. With that in mind, it's all about the fish for a while. 

Give this sauce a go, even if crab is not your catch of the day, try tuna.

 ▶ Recipe for two.


Organic chopped tomatoes (400g)
2 small deseeded red chillies, chopped finely. 
(Wash your hands properly after this, rub lemon on fingers after)
Half tsp fenugreek seeds
1 large garlic clove crushed.
Olive oil
Fresh coriander
Anchovy fillets (50g) 
Allow 60g of dried pasta each.


: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and add the *fenugreek seeds.
: Once popping, tip in the garlic and chillies.
: Stir for about one minute then the chopped anchovies can get involved.
: Chopped tomatoes in next,  leave this to slowly simmer for 20 minutes. Season if you wish, but anchovies are quite salty so maybe a bit of pepper will help. 
: Bring salted water to the boil and add the pasta. When 'al dente', drain and serve on a plate with the sauce and fresh coriander on top.


*Once fried these seeds leave their bitterness and give off a smoky caramel flavour which works beautifully in this dish. Let's face facts, no one likes biting into a seed, that's why roasting, or frying is the first point of call when spices are involved. 

Favourite Song:

ê 'Nan You're A Window Shopper'
'Everythings Just Wonderful'