Vincenzo’s crab tortellini in a shellfish and cream sauce


    500g 00 flour

    3 lemons, zest only

    1 tbsp olive oil

    6 eggs

    250g mascarpone

    100g Parmesan, grated

    handful basil, finely chopped

    4 crab claws

    dried chilli flakes

    1 large carrot

    4 celery sticks

    3 garlic cloves

    1 small onion

    4 king prawns

    ½ tube tomato purée

    ¾ bottle white wine

    200ml double cream

    small bunch parsley

    100g breadcrumbs, toasted

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Main serves 6

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First, make the dough. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add 2 pinches of salt, ½ the lemon zest, olive oil, 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks. Beat together slowly, incorporating more of the flour as you go, until combined.


Remove from the bowl and knead for 20 minutes (the more you knead, the lighter the pasta). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes.


For the filling, mix the mascarpone and Parmesan with ⅔ of the finely chopped basil and crab meat from the claws. Season with salt and pepper, chilli, and lemon zest to taste. Leave in the fridge to set.


Using a pasta machine or rolling pin, roll out the pasta dough into sheets approximately 2 mm thick. Flour well and cut out as many circles as possible with a cutter. In each pasta circle, place a small dollop of the crab mix. Then wet the edges of the pasta circle with water, fold in half over the filling to create a half-moon shape and seal, pushing out any air. To make a tortellini shape, take the half-moon and join the points at each end of the fold together, using a touch of water to seal. Set aside in the fridge.


For the sauce, dice the carrots, celery, garlic and onion into 1cm cubes and fry in olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shells of the prawns and the crab claws, along with the tomato purée, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the remaining basil, ⅔ of the parsley and the wine, and reduce by half. Add 1 pint of water and cook for 30 minutes over a low heat. Then strain. When ready to serve, add the cream and heat until thickened.


Place the tortellini in a pan of boiling water, and cook ’til they float to the top. Add the sauce to another pan with the peeled prawns, and heat until cooked through. Plate the pasta and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the parsley, more lemon zest and the toasted breadcrumbs.

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