A Lobster Pasta Conconction

Mario Batali's Fettuccine With Lobster, Tomatoes, And Saffron: I was perusing a cookbook from ABC’s “The Chew” and ran across a recipe that I apparently overlooked for the two-plus years I’ve owned the book.  It sounded so good I decided to splurge and try it:   fettuccine with lobster, tomato and saffron.

I never cook with lobster.  I think I’ve bought one fresh lobster in the grocery store in my entire life.  But, it sounded so good I had to give it a shot.  I decided to go for it, and when I got to Harris Teeter much to my surprise lobsters were on sale for $7.99 a pound (instead of their regular $14.99 a pound).  I felt a LOT better about making it after I saw that two 1.25 pound lobsters totaled about $45 before the discount was applied.

The recipe calls for potatoes in it, and I just couldn’t figure out why anyone would eat potatoes with pasta.  Can we say carbohydrate overload?  So, I left out the potatoes.  I also found that the recipe called for no seasoning, and left much to be desired in terms of taste as a result.  I had to add quite a bit of salt and pepper to make it sing.

Mine didn’t look like the one in the picture because I used the substitution of one can of San Marzano tomatoes, and I wasn’t sure how to include those, so I pureed them and it made a rich red tomato sauce.  My son had seconds and everyone loved it so I’m sticking with that approach.

Here, for your dining pleasure, is my version of this recipe, scaled down for three people with enough leftovers for one or two more servings:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1-to-1.25 pound lobsters, steamed (have the fish monger do this) and cooled
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 1/8″ julienne
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 15 ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 2 T. salt.
  • Remove the lobster meat from the shells and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
  • In a large saute’ pan, heat the olive oil until smoking.  Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute’ until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, wine and saffron and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Drop the fettuccine into the boiling water and cook to 1 minute less than package instructions.  Just before it’s done, carefully ladle 1/2 cup of the pasta water into the pan with the sauce.
  • Add the lobster to the tomato sauce in the pan and toss through.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (this step is really important!)  IF you like spicy food, add 1/2 t. or more of crushed red pepper to the sauce and simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the pan with the sauce.  Add the chives and toss to combine thoroughly.
  • Serve in pasta bowls.