Pasta with crayfish

Pasta med kräftor

Crayfish tails with pasta

This is a quick and easy meal, but always popular. It brings a smile to my face as I think of kräftskivor (crayfish parties), which are a great summer treat for Swedes. The parties are held outdoors, weather and mosquitoes permitting, during August. They are always very lively, aided by large quantities of snaps and traditional drinking songs.

Crayfish tails sold in a supermarket

Outside of Scandinavia it is usually hard to buy whole crayfish, so this recipe uses crayfish tails. You can usually find these in supermarkets as they are often sold in 150 gram (6 oz) packets for picnic lunches. Whilst this recipe is far from being a substitute for a real krästskiva, it is nonetheless a quick and easy meal. John Duxbury


Recipe summary for crayfish with pasta


A carton of Oatly cream

• For a lactose free version, try Oatly’s Creamy Oat instead of the crème fraîche.
• If you can buy loose crayfish, be a more generous with the amount of crayfish tails!
• Try and get yourself invited to a real kräftskiva! (A crayfish party is a kräfskiva, the plural is kräftskivor.)


150 g (6 oz) dried pasta, such as Penne
1   small onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp   butter
1 tsp   cornflour (cornstarch)
4 tbsp (¼ cup) white wine
180 ml (¾ cup) half-fat crème fraîche
1   unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest plus juice
    salt and white pepper to taste
150 g (6 oz) packet of crayfish tails
2 tbsp   finely chopped dill
½   lemon for garnish, quartered
2   small sprigs of dill for garnish


1. Put the pasta into a pan of boiling water. Cook according to the instructions on the packet and then drain and keep warm in the saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, fry the sliced onion gently in butter for 5 minutes until softened.

3. Add the corn flour and stir thoroughly. Then gradually mix in the wine and crème fraîche. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

4. Add the juice of half of the lemon plus salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice and seasoning if needed.

A pan of crayfish and sauce simmering

5. Stir in the crayfish tails and the finely chopped dill.

6. Pour most of the mixture into the saucepan of pasta and stir thoroughly.

7. Serve individual pasta dishes topped with the remaining crayfish, lemon zest, sprigs of dill and lemon wedges.

8. Enjoy with a nice crisp salad topped with sliced radishes, a popular addition to salads in Sweden.


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