A New Look At This Classic Italian Dish (Or Is It?)
What do you do when you answer your door to find two live lobsters on your doorstep? Grab a lemon for self-defense?
|By Meg Jones - wife, mother,
Now I’ve had all sorts of gourmet items sent to me during the holidays including fresh pears, steaks, sauces but never anything trying to escape. So when the Fed Ex guy arrived with a Styrofoam box filled with dry ice and a couple of live lobsters nested on a bed of seaweed, what did I do?
Pulled out my biggest cooking pot and started to boil water.
It turns out my wife has a friend in New York who is doing quite well and knows how much I love to cook so she sent us these lobsters with a couple of steaks. It was a wonderful gift but created somewhat of a dilemma.
We already had plans for dinner that night but you can’t expect these live crustaceans to hang out for a day or two until we were ready to serve them.
According to the instructions that came in the Styrofoam box, we had to cook them the day they arrived. So I boiled them in my big stock pot, cooled them outside on the porch, removed all that firm but tender meat and made Lobster Fra Diavolo the next night.
It’s the first time I made this dish and it is easy to prepare and a great use for lobster. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the succulent taste of lobster all by itself, but sometimes I think of it more as a conduit for eating melted butter. This is a great recipe for combining many flavors and textures.
If a couple of live lobsters don’t show up at your doorstep, you can typically find fresh or frozen lobster tails at the local supermarkets. This meal was a real treat and would be perfect during the holidays.
Lobsters make great gifts to the holidays, wedding, birthdays or even just to say thank you.
Lobster Fra Diavolo History
At first I thought this was a "classic" Italian dish from Naples, Italy, but after a little research, I learned it is not.
According to the research I found online, Lobster Fr Diavolo most likely does not come from Italy but was created in New York. Where in New York, well, some think Long Island, others Little Italy.
I read in the New York Times, that "Giuliano Bugialli, another cookbook author and cooking teacher, said it was invented in New York.
"We don't even have American lobsters in Italy," he added. "And a heavy tomato sauce with hot peppers, seafood and pasta all in one dish is not Italian cooking. "
No matter where it comes from, I like it as does my family and you will find it on menus in many Italian restaurants. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.
Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe
- 1 pound linguini
- 2 lobsters cooked with meat removed or 4 lobster tails cooked, meat removed and split in half
- 10 medium shrimp
- ½ cup white wine 2 shallots finely chopped
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 2 cups basic tomato sauce homemade or canned
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
- 3 teaspoons fresh basil chopped or 1½ teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- ½ cup claim juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Get a large pot of water boiling to cook the pasta.
- Remove the meat from the lobster.
- Chop the shallots, garlic and basil.
- Have the rest of the ingredients on hand.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, white wine, and clam juice. Stir to blend all the ingredients.
- Season with oregano, basil and crushed red pepper. Be careful with those crushed red pepper flakes. If you are not a fan of spicy foods, go easy. You can always add more to the dish after it’s served.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the lobster and shrimp and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp are no longer translucent but white and opaque.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When the pasta is done, make a bed of pasta on each plate, add a piece of lobster along with a few shrimp and top with sauce.