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Soft Shell Crab and Linguine

This picture is lame, I know. It’s actually remarkably well in focus for me, but I clearly used the wrong back drop because it’s the same color as the food and it all blends together. But we ate it all so I can’t take another picture. Besides, it’s not really a “pretty” meal but it is delicious.

I have to confess that I absolutely adore soft shell crabs. I have a very hard time not ordering them whenever I see them on a menu. So, when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. It’s flavorful from the crab and garlic while the red pepper flakes give it a nice delayed heat. The soft shells fry up nicely and provides a light crunch to the pasta that makes for a fantastic texture.

I also suspect that this might be a great introduction to soft shell crabs to someone who finds the idea of eating the whole crab, shell and all, a bit icky. No legs to pick up and bite in half just garlicy, crabby, pasta goodness.

Soft Shell Crab and Linguine


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or a little more
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 soft-shell crabs, cleaned (at fish market if you like)
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 pound linguine


  • In a wide heavy bottomed stockpot, warm oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes over a very low heat (do not let garlic brown).
  • Take cleaned soft shell crabs and dredge them in bread crumbs.
  • When garlic is soft — at least 5 minutes — add crabs (keep heat low to medium low; liquid in pan should barely bubble) and cover.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
  • After 5-8minutes flip the crabs and allow them to cook for an additional 8 minutes on the other side.
  • When the water boils add the pasta to the water and cook according to your package instructions.
  • When crabs are done, use tongs to remove them and hold them while cutting up with scissors. Return to pan and stir.
  • Using tongs transfer the pasta to the crabs and toss together.
  • If the pasta appears dry add a little more extra virgin olive oil to the pan.
  • Serve with or without Parmesan cheese for sprinkling.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4