04 Feb2007


This is a great way to “extend” a pricey and uncommon ingredient. The resulting dish is simultaneously comforting and familiar (tomato based sauce) yet made special by the addition of lobster (or prawns or crab meat in slight variations on a theme). lob2It is an excellent starter if served in modest portions or a great main course if you have enough lobster to go around. We had it for dinner the night after we received fresh lobsters as a gift, and after a lunch of decadent lobster salad sandwiches. This was the last of the brilliant lobster largesse we received from friends. To make, either boil up some live lobsters or make use of leftovers from a previous meal. I used the meat of a 1.5 pound lobster and ¾ pound of spaghetti for this dish. It would easily have fed 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course. The cooked lobster meat should be peeled and allowed to cool before using. Total preparation time is just 15-20 minutes, so make sure everyone is just about ready to sit at the table for dinner as this must be eaten as soon as it is cooked…

First, boil up some water for the pasta. Next, prep the ingredients as the water is heating up. Chop up the cooked and cooled lobster into small pieces, say about ½ inch in size. Use both the white and dark meat of the lobster. Open up a small can of Italian plum lob3tomatoes and remove the stem end and chop roughly, reserving juice. Wash some fresh grape or cherry or pear tomatoes if you happen to have them. Finely mince two cloves of garlic. Get several sweet basil leaves ready on a chopping board and have a knife handy. Rinse about a tablespoon of capers (if using capers stored in salt) or drain a tablespoon (if using those stored in brine) and keep it handy. Have some good sea salt and a pepper mill ready. You are ready to start cooking. When the water comes to a rolling boil (not a wimpy one), add the dry pasta and stir it every so often so it doesn’t clump up. Next put a medium to large sized sauté pan on medium high heat and when hot, add about two tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the lobster and stir for a few seconds then add the minced garlic and listen to it sizzle a bit, constantly tossing or stirring. The oil turns a little orange, cool, huh? Then before the garlic starts to color (you should NOT burn it or it will taste bitter) but after it has started to release its aroma and soften, add the fresh cherry or pear tomatoes and toss for another minute or so. Add the capers, the chopped canned tomatoes and juices and turn the heat up to high and stir once in a while. Add generous amounts of salt to taste and cracked black pepper. Let this cook a few minutes until the sauce has been reduced a bit. Taste for seasoning. Lower heat or turn it off if the sauce looks done. Drain the cooked pasta well and place it in the pan with the sauce and turn the heat back on. Add a tablespoon or more of unsalted butter and stir until this is all blended. Add the hand-shredded or chopped chopped basil and mix a bit more and plate it up. Eat immediately. Delicious and wickedly simple to make. This recipe is heavily influenced by a recipe by Jasper White in his great book Lobster at Home. However, I must say that I also saw this recipe done almost exactly the same way at several hotel pasta buffet set-ups when I lived in hotels for nearly 10 years…



  1. Essa says:

    This looks amazing! I am sure it was great. :-)

    Feb 4, 2007 | 3:54 pm


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  3. kaye says:

    can you also share some easy to do recipe with capers.. i only know how to cook a handful or use it for sandwiches and that’s it.. this dish looks so simple but am sure the taste would be really out of the ordinary.. hmmm.. wish somebody would also give me lobsters.. hehehe!!

    Feb 4, 2007 | 4:12 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    kaye, I have a couple of recipes that use capers in my archives… capers and fish and lemon go particularly well together so I have a recipe of fish cooked in parchment paper and a swordfish dish with lemon and butter and capers that I did a while back. You can also use them in a recipe with squash blossoms. Check the links to see the recipes…

    Feb 4, 2007 | 6:55 pm

  5. joey says:

    Loved your lobster posts Marketman! Wish I could replicate…maybe one day…or I could just do crabs :) Where did you get your pear tomatoes?

    Feb 4, 2007 | 7:16 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    joey, edwin (Freshfields) at Market!Market! If you want a more readily accessible version of the lobster sandwiches and pasta, practice with large prawns. Make sure you brine them for at least an hour in salty water then just cook them in boiling water… do not overcook or they will get tough. then when they are cool, continue with the recipes as I wrote for the lobster. When you have perfected that, try it with lump crab meat (won’t need as much cooking in the pasta sauce) before going on to lobster which is pricey to experiment with!

    Feb 4, 2007 | 7:57 pm

  7. millet says:

    love those tomatoes! MM, we often do this pasta dish with or without tomatoes, but we use prawns or large suahe shrimp. but i’ve never tried brining it (i suppose that’s what you meant with “brine them for at least an hour…”)..makes them more succulent, no. will make sure to do that next time.

    Feb 4, 2007 | 8:28 pm

  8. ragamuffin girl says:

    My mom “brines” her shrimp as well. Says it makes them crunchy to the bite as opposed to flat and removes the “malansa” taste/smell.

    Feb 4, 2007 | 10:23 pm

  9. Lei says:

    I love this recipe. Thanks MM, will definitely try this though with prawns only! =)

    Feb 5, 2007 | 10:34 am

  10. CecileJ says:

    I love lobster!!!!…in all its incarnations and reincarnations! The pasta and sandwich look really YUMMY!

    Feb 5, 2007 | 11:16 am

  11. corrine says:

    I am always on the look out for sandwich recipes for my kids. I shy away from ham, hot dogs and others that have sodium nitrite…carcinogenic! Anyway, I will try the shrimp sandwich. I am sure my kids will like it. Hope you come up with sandwich recipes that kids can bring to school.

    The problem with cherry or grape tomatoes here is the size varies though they are in one container. There are tomatoes that are bigger than the others. Hope Freshfield has uniform size.

    Feb 5, 2007 | 10:09 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    corrine, I actually don’t mind the inconsistent sizes, and since it’s hard enough to find pear tomatoes, I’ll take them in whatever sizes they come…but I know what you mean.

    Feb 5, 2007 | 10:14 pm

  13. Knittymommy says:

    I really enjoyed your lobster posts. I typically like lobsters in their simple steamed glory with lemon butter sauce. We rarely get to indulge, but after seeing your posts on lobster, I feel a little more encouraged to inudulge a little more often. The pasta version looks great. Your tip to Joey was very helpful. Thanks.

    Feb 5, 2007 | 11:53 pm

  14. MRJP says:

    My husband always wants his lobster prepared with pasta. What I do is prepare some pasta and make italian spaghetti sauce (or sometimes when I’m too lazy to make it from scratch, I used Prego italian sauce whis is really really good), split the lobster tail in two, sprinkle it with same iodized salt, rub some butter on it, put it in a metal pan and throw it into the oven. When it’s cooked, put it on top of sauced pasta on a big plate, with few leaves of parsley as garnish. My husband always loved it.

    Feb 6, 2007 | 1:46 am

  15. Maria Clara says:

    Looks great.

    Feb 6, 2007 | 1:49 am

  16. marga says:

    Pardon me but how do you “brine” the prawns??? with the shell or without???

    Feb 6, 2007 | 6:55 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    marga, with shell brine with lots of salt for at least 1.5 hours in a cold fridge. If you are brining without shells (because of recipe) I would do it a little shorter at say 1 or less hours…

    Feb 6, 2007 | 8:46 pm

  18. mario says:

    Kaye in the edition of february 2007 you asked some capples recipe i hope no t6o be late andi will give you one Italian,as i m ,easy and testy
    in a fry pan put three spoon of olive oil
    het the oil and put inside
    somel bomless olives
    cupples aboundant
    5 basil leaves
    4 anchovies (use the one keeped in salt well cleaned)
    two can of peeled tomatos
    amd last but not the last aboundant oregano (the dry one is good)
    season with salt and black pepper (no to much salt because anchovies anc capples are all ready salted)
    cook at slow firte for about 30 min till the anchovies melt and disappear
    in a pot where you have boiling water salted put spaghetti , possible an italian brand as BARILLA OR DEL VERDE number three or spaghettini
    cook till are no very ready drain and put the spaghetti in the sauce you just prepared toss and let finish cook there
    please spaghetti has to be AL DENTE means no well cooked but little bit hard to bite
    se4ve with a cup of red wine
    and very hot
    i like to add fresh red chilly but not all like red hot chilly

    Oct 21, 2008 | 11:54 am


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