The flavours of the crab, wine and cream intermingle beautifully, lifted by the lemon and basil. A whole dressed crab consists of both white and brown meat – the brown meat giving richness to the dish – but you can use just white meat if you prefer.
350 g dried spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
100 ml white wine
150 ml pouring double cream
1 dressed crab (about 120 g in the shell), removed from shell and the shell discarded
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100 g fresh white crab meat
75 g fresh white breadcrumbs
Large bunch of fresh basil, chopped, plus extra whole leaves to garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat half the oil in large, deep frying pan (it needs to be large enough to toss the spaghetti into the sauce).
Add the onion and cook over a high heat for 3–4 minutes. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for a further 10 minutes or until tender.
Add the garlic and fry over a high heat for a minute.
Pour in the wine and boil until reduced by just under half. (This will only take a couple of minutes in a large pan.)
Add the cream with the dressed crab meat, lemon juice and half the lemon zest.
Sprinkle in most of the basil (reserving some to garnish), season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring continuously, for a few minutes until combined.
Drain the spaghetti and add to the wine and crab sauce, stirring it in to coat well in the sauce.
In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil until hot, then add the fresh white crab meat with the breadcrumbs and the remaining lemon zest and fry for a couple of minutes until golden.
Divide the spaghetti between bowls and serve scattered with the fried crab meat and reserved basil.
Recipes provided by BBC Lifestyle in South Africa. The show airs from Tuesday, July 4 2017 at 9 pm.