A timeless classy classic that always comes back on my table during the festivities.
There is not much to discuss here, this pairing is unshakable. Great quality pasta by Rustichella d’Abruzzo, a rich shellfish sauce with hints of tomato and sweet and soft poached lobster tail. This will always make me happy!
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
320 g of Linguine ‘Rustichella d’Abruzzo’
2 whole lobsters
100 ml of dry white wine
4 plum tomatoes
1 celery stalk
4 spring onions
10 gr of unsalted butter
1 sprig of basil and parsley
Basil leaves to garnish (optional)
6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Boil the lobsters in salted boiling water for 4 minutes. Cooldown immediately in iced water.
With care and patience, remove the shells. This process needs to be done by hand; break the harder parts of the shell-like claws with the back of the knife and pull all the meat out with the help of a wooden skewer. Take extra time and care for the tail as you don’t want to damage it. A pair of scissors will help. Do not remove the meat from the heads. Keep the tails whole and chop every other bit of meat that you are able to save. Double-check for shell fragments in the meat. Keep all the shells for the sauce (most importantly the lobster heads, that’s where the flavor is).
Now pan roast the shells in extra virgin olive oil until golden then add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. At this stage pour in the white wine, let the alcohol evaporate, and cover with cold water. The quantity of water needs to be just enough to cover the shells. Add a couple of chopped tomatoes and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. When ready it will be reduced by half. Sieve it and keep it aside.
In a separate pan, gently sweat the chopped spring onions in a drizzle of oil with a knob of butter. Cook for 2 minutes until soft and add the sieved lobster sauce. Reduce by half again. While the sauce reduces, drop the Linguine in salted boiling water and cook for about 9 minutes until al dente. While you wait, warm up the lobster tails in the sauce and then slice them thinly.
When the pasta is ready, toss it straight away in the sauce and cook for 1 more minute on medium heat while stirring and tossing. This will help the sauce to coat the pasta and to create a creamy emulsion. Add a ladle of starchy pasta water, and an abundant drizzle of oil, the chopped lobster meat from the arms and claws, and 2 chopped tomatoes (pre-seasoned with salt and oil) keep stirring, and only now the season to taste as the reduced sauce might be already very tasty.
Plate straight away and top with the lobster tail slices and garnish with basil leaves.
Recipe by Danilo Cortellini