Date Night Challenge – Fancy Spaghetti with crab, tomato, chilli & hazelnuts

Date night eh…  that elusive event of years gone by…  well, in our house, she is making a come back and I am inviting you to join us from your own home – SATURDAY 19TH NOVEMBER (or thereabouts).

It started with picky eaters and a desire to eat our very favourite things without the disruption of small people.  Not only that, a desire to eat those things in peace, with adult conversation.  Date night was born and it takes many forms – sometimes out but most often at home (the practicalities of baby sitters and taxis can be a step too far).  Sometimes fine dining, sometimes a cheeseboard, sometimes a takeaway but ALWAYS with the candles lit, the table set and the music playing…  and most importantly without our darling children.

I conducted a poll on instagram recently and was a little saddened by the results – the majority stating you could not remember the last time you did date night and a small percentage even ticking the ‘I’m just over it’ box…  This is a chance to reconnect without any pressure other than to chat and I cannot tell you how important it is for relationship health.

So pop the date in the calendar, invite your partner or friend or make a date with yourself (no tv allowed) and enjoy.  I would so love to see and share your date nights so do tag me on social if you take any quick snaps of the food – probably goes without saying that, from the moment you sit down at the table, put the phones away.


Date night for us is the perfect occasion to indulge in shellfish and this crab spaghetti ticks the box of being suitably fancy whilst also being relatively simple.  Just pop to the local fishmonger for your prepared crab or buy it vacuum packed and freeze any not needed for the next time (or you could use it to make these).  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do…



Ingredients (Serves 4)

meat of 2 fresh crabs (or 250g pasteurised crab meat)
400g on the vine cherry tomatoes, halved
300g spaghetti (I like whole wheat)
1 lemon
3 tbsp good quality olive oil
1/4 tbsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 slice of bread, blitzed into crumbs)
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Method (5 mins prep, 15 mins cooking)

In a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil until hot before tossing in the breadcrumbs and hazelnuts.  Continue to shake and toss around in the oil until you have a gloriously golden, crisp, crumb.  (Equally, you can do this whilst the spaghetti is cooking but – a friendly warning – be careful not to forget about them…)

Start the spaghetti cooking in a large pan of salted water according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large frying pan and throw in the cherry tomatoes.  The goal here is to brown them slightly on the outside and get them a lil’ bit mushy on the inside to form the ‘sauce’.  Sprinkle in the chilli flakes when the tomatoes begin to break down.  Add the crab with a couple of minutes before the pasta is ready.

When the spaghetti is perfectly al dente, drain and gently stir through the remaining tbsp of olive oil, the crab tomato ‘sauce’, the chopped parsley and a generous squeeze of lemon.  Twirl onto plates and garnish with the hazelnut crumbs – do not be shy – these make the dish in my opinion by bringing the texture balance.

Serve with a wedge of lemon, wine and love…  enjoy.


Find my other recipes here.


I hesitate to say it, because really date night is no tinies allowed, but our children do actually enjoy this spaghetti too and sometimes we share it with them…  but never on date night.




  1. Gaylesbury
    17 Nov / 6:13 am

    That recipe looks delicious!

    • Thankfifi
      17 Nov / 12:37 pm

      Let me know if you try it!

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