Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Linguine All’astice - Linguine with Lobster / how to butcher a lobster

Got an email asking if I have the recipe for Linguine All’astice.
Yes, I have the recipe.
And now you do, too.

Linguine All’astice is simply Linguine with lobster in a very basic sauce.
The sauce is a cinch.
The lobster… not so much.

I’ll let you in on a secret: Ma served this with frozen jumbo prawns.
The ones that are about 22 to the pound.
Much simpler.

Live lobsters are a bit intimidating.
Remember the boiling lobster scene in Annie Hall?
And Julie had to live with the guilt of being a lobster killer in Julie & Julia.
They just had to toss the lobsters into a pot and boil them.

Linguine All’astice calls for a butchered lobster.
Not fun, but it can be done.
First thing:
Knock back a few stiff drinks to steady your nerves.
DO NOT remove the rubber bands that keep the lobster claws shut.
Wear oven mitts to protect yourself.

Okay… here we go:
Place a LIVE lobster upside down on a cutting board.
Hold the lobster by the tail and plunge the point of a heavy knife into the body,
where the tail joins the chest, and cut off the tail.
Continue hacking up the lobster at the joints into 2 inch chunks.
Crack the claws.
That's one dead lobster.
Remove the rubber bands.

Frozen jumbo shrimp are smaller and a quicker cook.
Do the frying part until they're almost pink, then remove them from the pot.
Add the other ingredients and simmer.
Add the shrimp for the last 10 minutes.


If the sauce is dry, add a little bit of the pasta’s cooking water.  
Don’t add too much.
If the sauce is too watery the sauce will taste mild. 

                        Linguine All’astice 

Serves 4

Prepare as above
2 lobsters (about 1 1/2 pounds each) 

For the Linguine

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
While the sauce is simmering, add
1 pound linguine
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
The pasta will get a bit more cooked in the sauce.
Drain and set aside.

For the Lobster

While waiting for the water to boil, start the sauce.
Into a large heavy saucepan pour
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
Fry the garlic until it turns golden.
the prepared lobsters 
Cook them until they turn orange, about 5 minutes. 
1 Cup dry white wine
Cook another 2 minutes.  
1 29 to 35 ounce can Italian tomatoes, chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer  15 minutes.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
the drained cooked pasta.
Toss the pasta until it is coated.
Cook together for 1 - 2 minutes.
Arrange the pasta in a warm serving bowl or platter.
Sprinkle with
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Top with the lobster.
Drizzle with 
extra virgin olive oil

Serve immediately.

It has a bit more of a kick.

And, yes, it can also be made with frozen jumbo prawns.

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