Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Lobster Seafood Pasta

New Year's calls for a special meal and Lobster Seafood Pasta is both impressive and easy.  Have it before you go out reveling or on New Year's Day to start the year off right.  Pure celebration food.

A little prep to cook the shrimp and lobster is needed beforehand and this can be done up to a day ahead.  If you have a great fishmonger, you can ask to have the lobster steamed and the shell cracked.  You can also buy pre-cooked and shelled shrimp.

I cook a large lobster in my biggest pot of boiling, well salted water.  When I say well salted I mean several tablespoons of salt.  Taste the water-- does it remind you of the sea?  Now we're cookin'.

A 2-pound lobster placed in boiling water will simmer, covered, on low heat for 8 minutes.  Check to be sure the water is bubbling not boiling.  Once I fish out the lobster to cool on a rimmed tray I toss 1 pound of medium (shell on) shrimp into the hot water.  Cover but do not turn the heat back on.  The shrimp will be cooked in 6-8 minutes.

The recipe also calls for scallops.   Use fresh sea scallops if you can find them.  Otherwise defrost frozen sea or the smaller bay scallops.  You will butter sauté them when compiling the pasta dish.  No need to cook them ahead.  If you cannot find scallops, use a bit more shrimp.

The recipe serves 4 and I recommend making the full recipe since the leftovers are good gently heated in a skillet the following day.  Use a smaller lobster (1 1/2 pounds) and halve the rest of the ingredients if you only want two full servings.  

Lobster Seafood Pasta
Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a first course

1 2-pound lobster, cooked and meat removed from shell (here's how)
1 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled
1/2 pound scallops
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup peas
1/4 cup dry white wine (or clam juice, chicken broth)
1/2 cup cream
1 lemon-- juiced and zest
1 pound fresh pasta (linguini recommended)
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley (or try dill, cilantro, tarragon or other favorite green herb)
As needed: salt and black pepper

  1. Place a large pot of salted water on high for the pasta.  Heat the water to boiling while you prepare the sauce.
  2. Dry scallops using a paper towel.  In a large skillet sauté scallops in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  If using fresh scallops, leave them alone before turning so that they brown slightly.  Previously frozen scallops may not brown.  Do not over cook them.  Remove scallops to a plate when opaque.  
  3.  Add the remaining butter and oil to the skillet.  Over low heat, warm the lobster and shrimp.  Leave the lobster claws whole if possible.  Spit the tail down the middle or chop in large pieces.  
  4. Next add peas and wine.  Cook until most of the wine has cooked down, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Time to cook the fresh pasta.  It only takes about 3 minutes so be ready to serve.
  6. While pasta cooks, add cream, lemon juice and lemon zest to seafood mixture.  Gently heat.  
  7. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of cooking water. 
  8. Stir cooked pasta into the seafood sauce.  Add cooking liquid to help loosen the pasta strands.  
  9. Cook just another minute more to allow flavors to meld.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 
  10. Add fresh herbs just before serving.  Reserve some herbs for garnish. 
Leftovers should be stored covered and refrigerated.  To reheat, add some liquid-- water or broth---to a skillet over medium heat.  When liquid simmers, lower heat and add leftovers.  Heat until just heated through, strring gently to break apart strands of pasta.