Growing up on the West Coast of the United States, I didn’t grow up with a passion for lobster.
In some ways, I’ve never really developed a taste for lobster. I’m not sure I’m a fan at all. I don’t get excited about Maine lobsters or vats of melted butter or lobster tails on a menu with a price of “ask your waiter“.
I’d much prefer to crack piles upon endless piles of dungeness crab and pick out all the meaty parts with a tiny fork or my fingers, never making eye contact with the other people at the table as my hands become covered in shell fragments and stray shards of meat yet I don’t pause to wipe off my hands because they’d only get messy again and I’d risk giving up a portion of the crab I could be otherwise eating and the social custom of a civilized dinner table is lost to the moment to the crab.
Um, if you know what I mean.
But, lobster I find has a huge fanbase so I try not to write it off completely. So many people can’t be wrong. Maybe it’s just me. (Or maybe you, too?)
In Italy, I don’t really consider lobster as part of my regular cooking repertoire, as I’ve seen some live lobsters be sold as high as 70 euros for a kilo or two, and that kind of takes the fun out of it. And while I do look for crab often, and never find it other than some soft-shelled guys I don’t really get excited about, I sometimes pick up code di arragoste, spiny lobster tails. They can be a bit steep, around 25 euros a kilo (~$33 for 2.2 pounds) but you don’t need a kilo, or really even a half kilo to make a nice pasta dish just for two.
And they’ll pacify even the biggest crab fans.
If you love lobster, do you eat it with pasta? Let me know your favorite way to eat lobster with pasta in the comments. Maybe it’ll convert me into a lobster lover….maybe.
Spiny Lobster Tail with Asparagus Pasta Recipe
For two. You can use full-size, regular lobster tails in this recipe, too, but you’ll have to cook them longer so that they are cooked fully.
1/2 lb. (Spiny) lobster tails, in shells
3 tablespoons of butter
300g (1/2 lb.) asparagus spears, thinly sliced
150-200g spaghetti pasta
1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
4-5 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a tall pot, set some water to boil for the pasta. Make an X with a knife on the cherry tomatoes. Blanch the cherry tomatoes in hot water for 30 seconds, and then cold water for a few seconds. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and set aside.
- Heat the butter until it starts to bubble in a large frying pan. Add the lobster tails, still in their shells, and brown them for a few minutes on both sides and the tail meat isn’t opaque any more. Remove the tails from the pan and set aside until cool enough to touch.
- If your water has started to boil, add a small handful of rock salt to the boiling water and then the spaghetti. Cook according to package directions.
- While the tail meat is cooling, add the garlic cloves into the remaining (lobster) butter in the frying pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced asparagus and tomatoes and cook until tender. While the asparagus is cooking, remove the tail meat from their shells and chop it into large chunks with a knife. Add the meat back to the asparagus and tomatoes for a final minute before turning off the heat.
- Drain the cooked pasta and set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water. Turn the heat under the frying pan back on, and toss the spaghetti with the asparagus, tomatoes and lobster meat. Add a little pasta water if there’s not enough liquid to toss the pasta with.