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+ servings
Crab pasta with capers and parsley in a bowl with a fork.
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5 from 4 votes

Spicy Crab Pasta

Spicy crab pasta with lemon and capers is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but elegant enough for any date night in. Ready in 20 minutes, start to finish, this pasta is both sweet from jumbo lump crab meat, but has a spicy kick from red pepper flakes. Finish with a splash of heavy creamy to make it extra luxurious.
Prep10 mins
Cook10 mins
Total20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: crab pasta, jumbo lump crab meat, lemon caper pasta
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 497kcal
Author: Ari Laing


Large pot for cooking pasta
Large pan or skillet for sauce and assembling pasta
Wooden spatula or spoon


  • 1 lb tagliatelle or other long pasta
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 2 anchovy filets drained
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb lump crab meat picked through for shells
  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup dill chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp capers drained
  • ¼ cup Parmesan grated, plus more for serving
  • ¼ - ½ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add about 1 Tbsp kosher salt. Add tagliatelle, then cook according to package directions, or until al dente. Reserve about ½ cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and set aside.
  • Begin making the sauce. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 3 cloves chopped garlic, 2 anchovies, and 1 tsp red pepper flakes, then use a wooden spoon to break down the anchovies (they should melt into the sauce), cooking for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Finish the pasta. Add crab and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute, then deglaze with ⅓ cup white wine. Season with 1 tsp Kosher salt, then cook 1 minute more. Add drained pasta, lemon juice, lemon zest, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ¼ cup chopped dill, 1 Tbsp drained capers, and and ¼ cup parmesan. Stir to combine.
  • Add cream, then season. Pour in about ¼ cup of reserved pasta water and ¼ cup of heavy cream, then toss gently. If you want more of a sauce, add more reserved water and/or cream, otherwise taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with additional black pepper, Parmesan, and chopped parsley, then serve immediately.



Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1122mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 822IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg
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