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Seafood Pasta Parcels

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Serves: 4
350g / 12 oz dried spaghetti
450g / 1 lb live mussels
2 tbsp butter
115g / 4 oz prepared squid, sliced
175g / 6 oz raw Mediterranean prawns
3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp shredded fresh basil leaves salt and pepper
1 crab, about 1.5 kg / 3 Ib 5 oz, freshly cooked
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800g / 1 Ib 12oz canned tomatoes
225ml / 8 fl oz dry white wine

Holding the crab upright with one hand, bang it firmly on the underside of the shell with your clenched fist to loosen the body. Then, with the shell towards you and still holding it upright. force the body away from the shell by pushing with your thumbs. Twist off and discard the tail. Twist off the legs and claws. Crack them open and remove all the meat.

Pull off and discard the gills - dead man's fingers - then split open the body down the centre using a sharp knife. Remove all the meat, discarding any pieces of shell. Reserve all the shell and set the crab meat aside. Carefully break up the larger pieces of shell with a meat mallet or the end of a rolling pin.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add half the chillies and half the garlic. then add the pieces of crab shell. Cook over a medium heat. stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their can juices and the wine. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Sieve the sauce pressing down on the contents of the sieve with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta. return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. until tender but still firm to the bite.

Scrub and de-beard the mussels under cold running water. Discard any damaged or broken ones and any that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped.

Heat the remaining olive oil with the butter in a large. Heavy-based saucepan. Add the remaining chilli and garlic and cook over a low heat stirring occasionally. for 5 minutes. or until softened. Add the squid. prawns and mussels. cover and cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and discard any mussels that remain closed.

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