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01 January 2013

Linguine all' Astice (Lobster Linguine)


There are a lot of pasta dishes that wow me.  I like this, I like that and I like the other one I had in a restaurant the other day.  But what really stops my world is a good plate of linguine all' astice (lobster linguine).  So when a restaurant has it in their menu, I don't have eyes for anything else.  I will be eating this one. 


However much I love this dish, I hate cooking it myself.  I am a fainthearted cook.  When I am confronted with live ingredients, I balk.  In fact, if I have a choice, I would run away from the kitchen and wait for someone else to do the dirty job for me.   But there's no else around but me. 

As soon as I took out the lobsters from the bag yesterday morning, the kids had their first encounter with the moving lobsters.  They were excited and they were thanking me!  They were calling them granchi (crabs) and I kept on correcting them that they are astice (lobsters).  There were two so they thought that they had one for each of them to keep as pets.  That made it more difficult for me to tell them that I had to cook them.  I felt like a monster

This incident reminded me of an episode when I was a kid when my older brother and I were up late, watching TV.  We heard some odd noises in the kitchen and when we walked in, there were big live crabs strolling around the kitchen.  They escaped from the big pot where they were being kept.  We managed to put them all back but not before playing with them first.  Needless to say, my mother had a terrible time trying to convince us the following day that the crabs had to go....for lunch!  No tears or anger stopped my Mom.  I thought she was a monster.  Now it's my turn. 

Before commencing, I dealt with my kids' tears and accusations why I had to terminate their granchi... sigh.  I asked my husband to take the kids away to watch TV, which he was very willing to do.  You see, he was the third member of the little party who didn't like me that morning.  


I have read, watched and heard that the best and fastest way to deal with live lobsters is to bash them while still alive to take out the flavors.  Cowardice made me leave them in a big hot saucepan, covered it and left the kitchen.  My husband repeatedly tells me that my system is wrong but however much I muster all my courage, I know that I am not cut out for something like this.  I know that there are frozen lobsters.  They should solve all my problems but the flavor shouldn't be as good as the one you get from the fresh ones.   


Cooking linguine all' astice is quite simple.  If you are able to go through step 1, then the rest is a breeze.  You just need some dry white wine, a clove of garlic, ripe & tasty tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and a lot of parsley. 

Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce for a few minutes to let them absorb the sauce well.  That way, you get the flavors well. 



I like preparing this dish on New Year's Eve dinner if the fishmonger manages to catch some.   For me, this is the best seafood pasta dish in the Italian kitchen, for that I like ending my year and starting a new one with the best pasta in the house.  I hope you all had a blast yesterday 

Buon appetito!




Linguine all' Astice

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 350 - 400 grams linguine
  • 2 medium lobsters, allot 1 lobster for 2 persons (Each of the lobsters I used weighed around 600 grams)
  • 300 grams mature, plump & tasty tomatoes, halved (I used datterini tomatoes.  Please don't replace with canned tomato puree.)
  • 250 ml. dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  Directions:
  1. With the bottom side of the lobsters, where the tummy is, slice them vertically in two.  Crush the claws with a meat mallet so that the meat can be extracted easily when they are cooked.  Set aside. 
  2. Boil some water in a pot for the pasta.  When the water boils, add the salt.  Cook the pasta following the number of minutes written in the package.   Lessen a minute from the recommended cooking time because you will still cook the pasta with the sauce.   
  3. Meantime, while waiting for the water to boil, cook the sauce. 
  4. In a saucepan, sauté the garlic with extra virgin olive oil.  
  5. When they turn golden, add the lobsters.  Cook them until they turn orange or about 5 minutes.  
  6. Pour the wine and put up the fire to medium - high.
  7. After about 2 minutes, add the tomatoes & half of the minced parsley and turn down fire to low - medium.  Cover.  
  8. Cook for another 15 minutes.  If the sauce is drying up, add a little bit of the water you are cooking the pasta with.  The sauce shouldn't be too watery or else you will the sauce will taste mild. 
  9. Season with salt & pepper.  
  10. Add the cooked pasta in the saucepan.  Mix well.  Cook together for 1 - 2 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle the rest of the minced parsley.
  12. Serve pasta immediately with 1/2 a lobster each plate and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.