Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

By 04/06/2020

I have always thought that brown crab was delicious.. until I tried spider crab!

Almost weekly now, I get a spider crab delivered to my front door, already cooked by my local fishmonger.

Spider crab is cheap and very sustainable as there are plenty of them. Their meat is sweeter than brown crab but for some odd reasons the majority of UK crabs is whisked away to other countries like Italy, France and Spain where there is more of a taste for these beautiful crustaceans.

Really, it is only a matter of learning how to prepare it, most fishmongers will sell it already cooked or even dressed and ready to eat.

You can do so much with crab: from a delicate bruschetta starter to a tasty pasta or risotto.

This is a very simple and classic pasta recipe, you can use brown or spider crab for it. Just tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil and parsley.. the fish will do the rest and add all the flavour, the flavour of the sea.

Beautiful beautiful indeed.. I am totally addicted!

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes
  • Yield : 4



First let's clean the crab.

Rinse it under the tap and with a little knife scrape off any seaweed that might be attached to the claws.

Pull out the legs and the claws and set them aside.

Spider crab

With the help of a knife separate the body from the shell; remove the pointed/feathery gills from the central part of the body and discard. Scoop out the brown meat and put it in a bowl.

Cut the body in half. Pick all of the white flesh out of the honeycombed center and place it into the bowl.

cleaning spider crab

If you are not making pasta with the crab, the shell can be a nice way of serving it.

cleaning spider crab

In a pan stir fry the garlic cloves with 3 tbsp of olive oil.

When the garlic is a little golden add the tomato sauce, the chopped cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well. Let it bubble up for 8 minutes with the lid on and then add the crab's meat, the white wine and the parsley.

Cook for another 5 minutes over a gentle heat.

Cook the spaghetti in salty water for a couple of minutes less than it states on the packet. Drain them and add them to the sauce. Stir well over a source of heat for the remaining 2 minutes, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, stir and serve immediately.

Spaghetti with spider crab in tomato sauce

Spaghetti with spider crab in tomato sauce

With the help of a nutcracker crack open the legs and the claws and pick all of the meat out. I prefer to eat these separate, it is fun and they are super tasty and the body of the crab has enough meat to make a nice bowl of pasta for 4.

spider crab claws and legs

What a treat! I love spider crab!

Pasta with spider crab in tomato sauce

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14 Responses to Spaghetti with spider crab, what a delicacy!

  1. angiesrecipes

    Such a gourmet pasta meal! I want some spider crab too 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Angie. We really enjoyed it.

  2. Chef Mimi

    I cam’t get any fresh crab of any kind, and i really dislike canned crab, so sadly I won’t be able to make this! It’s such a beautiful dish, and I love your photos!

    • Alida

      Thank you Mimi. I know, canned crab is not the same thing. I hope all is well with you.

  3. Ron

    We love crab, but it’s not so common over this way. We get UK brown crab but I’ve not seen spider crab here. I’ll need to check with our fishmonger. I wish our fishmonger delivered, but at least he brings his fish truck to our village square once a week.
    Next time I see crab fresh crab of any kind I’ll be trying your delicious-sounding pasta dish.

    • Alida

      Brown crab is more common. Only recently has my fishmongers started selling it but there are just as many spider crabs as brown crabs in our sea.
      I think people find it a bit scary or they don’t know how to prepare it. Once you do it once or twice it is very easy.

  4. Gloria

    Really delicious Alida we love crab !

    • Alida

      Ne approfitto per cucinare adesso che sono momentaneamente a casa.

    • Alida

      We are in love with shellfish!

  5. Zaza

    A perfect dinner recipe! Looks delicious, Alida!

    • Alida

      Thank you Zaza

  6. Frank Fariello

    This looks gorgeous, Alida! I don’t believe spider crabs lives in these parts, but we are quite well known for our blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. I may give this a go with those!

    • Alida

      We have plenty of them over here. I definitely recommend crab and they are sustainable.

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