Serves 4


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine or white grape juice
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve at least one cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Season the crabs with salt and pepper and place them shell side down in the hot oil.
    Note: Since the crab contains pockets of moisture, be sure to place a splatter screen over the pan, as the moisture may cause popping.
  3. Fry for about three to four minutes, or until nicely browned. Flip the crabs over and cook on the other side for another two to three minutes.
  4. Remove from the pan and let them drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  5. Reduce the heat on the pan to medium and add the garlic and crushed red pepper to the pan. As soon as the garlic starts to brown, add the white wine or grape juice  and stir to incorporate all the bits from the bottom of the pan into your sauce. Add in the capers and continue to cook until the wine or grape juice is reduced by half. Stir in the butter and then toss the sauce with the cooked spaghetti and parsley, adding in a little of the reserved pasta water if the sauce looks dry.
  6. Serve the spaghetti topped with the sauteed soft-shell crabs.

Click below for pdf:
Soft Shell Crabs n Spaghetti