Spaghetti with Crab and Zucchini

Chris Fischer

Beetlebung Farm - Martha's Vineyard, MA

"Vineyard waters are full of crabs, but few are sold on the island these days because lobsters fetch a better price. That leaves plenty of crabs around for those of us willing to catch and then pick our own. So that is what I advise you to do; or, use whatever type of crab is available locally." —Chris Fischer


  • 1/2 pound picked crab
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 medium summer squash (yellow or zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves, cut in slivers
  • 12 ounces thick spaghetti or bucatini
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Combine the crab and jalapeño in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Chop half the mint and add that to the crab. Mix well and set aside.

Sliver the remaining mint and put that in a second bowl. Trim the squash, then grate them using a large-holed grater, stopping short of the seedy core (reserve it for another purpose, see below). Add the squash to the bowl with the slivered mint. Add the remaining oil, vinegar, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. 

When the water boils, add salt and the pasta. Cook it until it is al dente, about 7 minutes. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated crab and zucchini and the basil. Add 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and the pasta. Heat everything together, tossing to mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice and serve.

Note: I like to use the squash cores to make a simple vegetarian pasta. 

Heat a good amount of oil—1/4 cup—in a large skillet over medium heat while you heat your pasta water (spaghetti or penne would be good). Smash a garlic clove and add it to the oil. When the garlic is fragrant, add a pinch of chile flakes, 3 sprigs of oregano, and a sprig of rosemary. Chop the squash cores and add them to the oil, then season with salt and lots of pepper. 

Drop the pasta in the water. Cook the squash, smashing it with the back of a spoon. When it is tender and brown, turn up the heat, add the cooked pasta, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and a little pasta water. Toss, adjust the seasoning, and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.



4 to 6 servings