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Recipe 02 ➺ Mitch Orr

Crab & Preserved Lemon Butter Pasta

Sydney’s Mitch Orr makes an impact in whatever kitchen he’s in. Mitch’s blend of traditional techniques with modern flare and imagination has enriched the Sydney dining scene foe years, most recently at CicciaBella and his own personal outing, ACME. Along the way there’s been awards, hats and accolades aplenty. For Sometimes Always, Mitch has thrown us something wild to try in the kitchen this Autumn – a pasta that fuses Italy, Japan and Mitch’s sense of playfulness and generosity of flavour. Follow his adventures online – you won’t regret it.


10mins Prep Time
20mins Cooking Time
30mins Total


250G x Green Crab Meat


1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
500ml crab/seafood stock or kombu stock*
Vege oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon


400g malloreddus (or your favourite short pasta)
2 cloves farlic, finely chopped
1 eschalot, finely chopped
200g unsalted butter
1 preserved lemon
1 teaspoon kombu powder/kombu tea
Blitzed dried wakame


Preserved lemon butter method:
Chop the butter up and leave out at room temp until soft.
Finely dice the skin of the preserved lemon.
Add the chopped preserved lemon to the butter, add the teaspoon of kombu, mirin and light soy sauce. Add the lemon zest.
Mix everything together until well combined.
Place back in the fridge until you’re ready to make the dish.

Dish method:
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Sauté the garlic and eschalot in a heavy based pan over a medium high heat.

Once the garlic and eschalot has softened and become fragrant (a little colour is okay), add the crab or kombu stock, the crab meat and the preserved lemon butter.
Break the crab meat up a little. Allow the stock to boil so the butter emulsifies. Turn the sauce down as it begins to thicken. It should be nice and shiny and not split.

At the same time cook your pasta. You want to have your pasta and sauce ready at the same time! Add the pasta to your sauce, toss together well. If the sauce is too tight, add a little more stock. Add some lemon juice at the last minute and check the seasoning. Add a little salt if needed.

Plate the dish up and cover with a healthy dusting of the dried wakame powder. Suck it down straight away!

Possible Pairings

At Sometimes Always, we understand that sometimes pairing wine and food isn’t always required. That being said, there’s a few considerations that can absolutely improve the experience.

For the dish consider choosing a wine with prominent acidity to cut through the dish’s rich and buttery components. Whatever you choose, we’re sure that you’ll be equally as blown away by the flavours in this carefully curated culinary delight as we were!

When pairing for the heady combination of crab, butter, preserved lemon and salty and umami Japanese ingredients, Chardonnay is the first thing that springs to mind. Good quality Chardonnays inherently have a broad palate with a focused citrus acidity. Riesling follows closely behind, using that laser sharp freshness to cut through the rich nature of all that butter. For a non-alcoholic option, you couldn’t go past a citrus-based kombucha. Alternatively, we could look to something a little more textural to enhance the sweetness of crab meat – a skinsy Vermentino or playful Rosé would complete the experience.