This quick and irreverent take on a carbonara uses crab in place of the standard bacon – not for reasons of grandeur, but for a quick and simple meal. If you’re feeling flush, use canned shredded crab meat, but if not, torn-up seafood sticks, tiny frozen prawns or a generous dollop of crab sandwich paste will do just fine.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 8–10 minutes.
Chop the garlic clove into fine pieces and add this (or the garlic paste, if using) to a nonstick frying pan with the butter or oil and a pinch of salt. Cook on a gentle heat so as not to burn the garlic.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk, and grate in the cheese. Season generously with black pepper.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the pan. Add the cooked garlic, then drain the crab meat and stir it through the pasta quickly. Add the egg and cheese mixture and stir briskly and thoroughly; the heat from the pasta will lightly cook the egg and melt the cheese.
Serve immediately. It will keep in the fridge for 24 hours, but it is not recommended for freezing.
© Jack Monroe, 2020