Friday, February 1, 2013

Lobster with Pasta and White Wine-Butter Sauce

Last Year's Post: Tuxedo Strawberries

Time for a special dinner - Valentine's Day is coming up!  I think nothing is more romantic or special than an elegant and intimate dinner for two that you took the time and effort to prepare yourself.  And when I think about a special dinner, I usually think of lobster.  That good news is that although lobster is expensive in a nice restaurant, it's affordable when you prepare it at home.  You don't even need to buy really big lobster tails for this dish (although you certainly could if you wanted) because the lobster meat is combined with pasta and a delicious white wine-butter sauce.  A small-ish lobster tail per person is plenty (that's what I used in the picture above) and is often on sale at your local store around New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day for a very reasonable price.  I bought two 8-ounce tails for $8.99 each.  Including the rest of the ingredients, a loaf of french bread, and a very nice bottle of wine, I spent about $50 for this meal.  Think about what a bottle of wine and two lobster dinners would cost at a restaurant!

I've always liked the idea of lobster with pasta and spent many years searching for a great recipe.  I noticed that most lobster pasta recipes have either a heavy tomato sauce or a heavy cream sauce.  Either way, they tend to smother the lobster.  What's the point if you can't taste the lobster?    Plus, I love the taste of lobster and butter, so I knew I found the perfect recipe when I found this one and switched out olive oil for butter instead.  The sauce is light but very flavorful, and complements the lobster flavor rather than smothering it. The arugula adds a bit of color and flavor as well. The net result is truly a restaurant-quality dish.  As if that wasn't enough, it's really easy to make and isn't as messy as most lobster recipes because you simply take the raw meat out of the shell and saute it in the sauce.

Butter, wine, garlic, a little tomato puree, and lobster...yum yum
It's also easier to eat lobster this way rather than trying to get it out of a shell after it's cooked.  The Lawyer and I enjoy cooking together and we had fun preparing this meal, which is a great idea if you and your partner both like to cook.  (Not so great if you don't.)

Because the sauce isn't thick and heavy, it's important to add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss it over the heat for a couple of minutes to allow the sauce to thoroughly coat the pasta and infuse it with flavor.  The entire meal only takes about a half hour to prepare.  Set a pretty table with some candles and flowers and you're all set!

click here for a printable recipe

Lobster with Pasta and White Wine-Butter Sauce
serves 2

2 small to medium lobster tails (7-10 ounces each), thawed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
6 ounces uncooked spaghetti (slightly less than half of a 1 lb package)
1 cup fresh arugula or baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Using a sturdy scissors, cut down the middle of the lobster shells without cutting into the meat.  Pull the shells open and carefully remove the meat.  Cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Sauté the garlic in the butter for 1 minute, watching so the butter doesn’t brown.  Add the wine, tomato puree, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then add the lobster and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer uncovered for 5-6 minutes or until the lobster is firm and opaque.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain the pasta; add to the lobster mixture and toss to coat.  Stir in the arugula, lemon juice and peel; cook for 1-2 minutes or until the arugula is wilted.  Serve immediately.

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