Here on Herbie Likes Spaghetti, we’re all about bringing you recipes, tips, and tricks on how to make easy and affordable restaurant quality food, in your own kitchen. We usually focus on the more traditional, comfort-food-esque dishes, like Rigatoni alla Vodka, Arroz con Pollo, or Macaroni and Cheese. Occasionally we go a little more highbrow, like with our Chimichurri Steak or Winter Caprese Salad. But even when we do that, we try to keep it simple, because really, we don’t have that much time to cook after a long day of work, so simple is good!
This is a perfect example of one of those more highbrow, luxurious dishes, yet it’s still incredibly easy and simple to make. We save this one for special occasions – because the lobster costs a little extra – but you could certainly make this same dish with shrimp or monkfish and it would be just as good. All it takes is 6 ingredients – spaghetti, tomato sauce, lobster (or your shrimp or monkfish or what have you), chives, garlic, and sweet vermouth – and you’ve got a culinary masterpiece adorning the dinner table (or in our case, the coffee table).
Making the Dish
1 whole lobster
1/2 lb spaghetti
1.5 cups tomato sauce
10 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
8 oz fresh chives
The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your tomato sauce. If you decide to use tomato sauce from a jar for this recipe, make sure it’s a good one. You don’t want to go through all the trouble and cost of making the lobster and sweet garlic only to throw it into a mediocre sauce.
As your tomato sauce is simmering, begin to make your sweet garlic. Take your whole peeled garlic cloves and put them in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. You’ll want to be somewhat generous with the olive oil for this, about 1/4 cup’s worth. Let the garlic start to sizzle and continue to move it around so that it doesn’t burn. Occasionally, you can tilt your skillet so that a pool of olive oil forms at the bottom and the garlic slides in, cooking it on all sidesYou’ll want to do this for about 10 minutes until the garlic is nicely browned and relatively soft. Then take about 1/4 cup of your sweet vermouth and pour it into the skillet.Let the garlic sizzle in this for a while, and repeat the process from before, occasionally turning it to let the garlic bathe in the hot liquid, for another 7-10 minutes until the garlic is really soft and the liquid has reduced a fair amount to a syrupy texture. Remove from heat and let them sit in a bowl, marinating in the liquid, until you’re ready to use them.
After the garlic and tomato sauce is done, next comes the lobster. You can either boil your lobster, or get it pre-cooked. Either way, break open the cooked lobster by slicing directly down the middle. You’ll want to position the knife directly behind the head and press down and away from yourself, cutting as you go and splitting it in halfThen turn it around and do the same thing in the other direction. There may be some green goop in there. It’s gross. We’re not going to tell you what it is, but you probably have a good idea. Rinse it out. Take out all the meat you can find from the tail and the claws and set them aside.
If you have someone like Herbie helping you cook, you’ll need to do your best restraining job here. Herbie loves lobster – he has very highbrow tastes.
After you’ve removed the lobster meat from the shell, chop it up into manageable pieces. You’ll want them to be about 1 – 2 inch cubes so that they can be easily speared on a fork and eaten in one bite. We tend to leave the claws whole though, because they look pretty cool, and each of us gets a claw.
The last thing to do for the sauce is to pull it all together. In a large skillet or sauce pan, throw in a touch of olive oil over medium heat. Toss in your lobster meat, and let sizzle and take on the flavor of the oil for a few seconds.Next, add in your sweet garlic (try to put in just the garlic, leave the syrup out), and chives, and stir together. You’ll want to cut the chives to be about two inches longFinally, add in the tomato sauce and stir together until everything is nicely combined. Once the lobster, tomato, and chives are incorporated, remove from heat.
We used a fresh made pasta from Eataly for this, as we love the texture of the fresh pasta with the lobster. You can use dry pasta if you’d like too – it’s just as good – but if you do, get it started ahead of time because you’re pretty close to finished at this point. Cook your pasta until it’s one minute shy of al dente, and when you’re there, take it out of the water, add it directly to your sauce, and toss everything together.
As promised, you’ll have in front of you a culinary masterpiece after no more than 30 minutes of work on your part! You’ll have truly impressed yourself with this one, and you’ll rush to eat it all.
The simplicity of the ingredients, and how well their flavors work together, is really what makes this dish work so well. The sweet and savory garlic couples wonderfully with the luscious lobster, is balanced by the chives, and the tomato sauce pulls everything together.