A shorter video for a very quick and simple dish. Crayfish tails are a cheap and tasty way of serving shellfish. 250g only cost me £2 at my fishmonger and would not cost more than £2.50 at a supermarket. The dill gives the sauce a fragrant sweetness, making this dish a long-standing favourite in our house. When Archie was still dairy allergic, we used to make it with Alpro Soya cream which was an excellent substitute. That said, nothing quite beats the bitter tangyness of the crème fraiche…
There is some debate as to when to give shellfish to babies and children. I believe we started when Archie was around nine months old and this felt a good time to start (although admittedly some people do prefer to wait until 12 months old). If my memory serves me right, we were in our local Chinese restaurant and he was just too curious about the little baby shrimps in the special fried rice. The restaurant kindly brought him a plate of them and he literally hoovered them up, instantly turning shellfish into a regular part of our eating habits.
I would imagine that most shellfish could substitute the crayfish here and, if you are concerned about giving shellfish, I am sure this recipe would work well with some cubed fresh salmon.
Linguine with a crayfish, dill, cream and tomato sauce
Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes
This served three of us, with second helpings for the adults
250g fresh crayfish tails
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
300ml of crème fraiche (I used the half-fat version here). For dairy allergies, the Alpro Soya cream is a good substitute.
150ml of passata (or tinned tomatoes, as long as they are smooth)
A 25g bunch of fresh dill, chopped. You can use the stalks too, except for maybe the tips of the root ends.
Butter to cook with.
Freshly grated parmesan to serve.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add some salt and add the pasta. Cook according to your personal preferences and the instructions on the packet.
- With about 7 minutes left for the pasta to cook, melt the butter in a medium hot pan and fry the onions and garlic together until soft and golden. Add some more butter (or some vegetable oil) if the pan is becoming dry.
- Once the onions are very soft, pour in the passata. It will immediately start to bubble so lower the heat.
- Add in the crème fraiche. Don’t allow the sauce to boil, just let it simmer gently.
- Just when the pasta is ready, add in the dill to the sauce and add a small ladel of the pasta cooking water, just to loosen the sauce.
- Drain the pasta and run a little bit of cold water through it so it doesn’t go sticky.
- Add the crayfish to the sauce. It is very easy to overcook crayfish and it can become hard and chewy. My crayfish tails were relatively small so they only took about 45 seconds to heat through. It is a balancing act to not overcook the crayfish but, at the same time, ensure that they are piping hot.
- Season the sauce if you wish to.
- Stir the pasta into the sauce. The pasta itself will naturally heat up again. Leave it to sit in the pan for a minute so that the sauce naps the pasta and then serve immediately with loads of freshly grated parmesan.