Lobster spaghetti with garlic, chilli and ginger

Richard Hughes step by step, lobster pasta.
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Richard Hughes step by step, lobster pasta. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

This month’s recipe is the ultimate “rich man, poor man” dish - a term much loved in the chef’s community, whereby we take a luxury ingredient and pair it with something from the humble end of the shopping list.

Think beef fillet with ox cheek, parmesan with polenta, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, risotto with the merest shaving of white truffle and you’ll get the picture. Much beloved by restaurateurs, it’s a way of offering an expensive special ingredient without the accompanying price tag.

The Italians are the master of this concept, with the belief that good food should be enjoyed by all, many authentic recipes offer traditional peasant food served with the merest whiff of extravagance.

This beautiful lobster spaghetti is the classic example of this technique. You should be able to pick up a good-sized lobster for just over £10, and I’d always choose one that has been cooked for you by the fishmonger. Pair it with pasta and you’ve got yourself a real treat for little more than the cost of the main ingredient. You can, of course, use Cromer crab with an equally spectacular result.

The lobster has achieved a spectacular rise in the food chain. Like the oyster, it was once used as a fertiliser, and occasionally as fishing bait. It was also a staple in prisons in the USA, much to the disgust of the inmates. How its stock has risen, a foodie transformation that’s shows there’s hope for us all.

Use fresh or dried pasta; oddly the Italians seem to prefer it dried, importing it from Pasta Foods at Great Yarmouth. So you can really eat authentic ingredients knowing your still supporting the local food movement!

Lobster spaghetti with garlic, chilli and ginger

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1 cooked lobster

125g cooked spaghetti/linguine

1/2 teaspoon fresh red chilli

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves

6 spring onion

100g butter

100ml dry white wine

1 dessertspoon double cream

Juice of half a lemon

Bunch fresh chives

1 Prepare the lobster; remove the claws.

2 Split the lobster in half.

3 Remove the meat from the claws.

4 Remove the tail meat.

5 Remove the sac from the lobster head and discard.

6 Finely chop the chilli.

7 Chop the ginger.

8 Chop the garlic.

9 Finely slice the spring onion.

10 Soften the chilli, ginger, garlic and spring onion in 25g of butter.

11 Add the white wine. Bring to the boil.

12 Add the cream. Bring to the boil and reduce to half the original volume.

13 Add the remaining 75g of butter.

14 Shale the pan to amalgamate the butter to make a smooth shiny sauce.

15 Add the lobster meat. Warm through.

16 Add a squeeze of lemon.

17 Add the pasta.

18 Add the chopped chives. Heat through a serve immediately.

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