Recipe by Laura Ratliff and Ryan Smith
This fresh pasta with lobster and mint was inspired both by Mark Bittman and a dish at Mario Batali’s southern Italian restaurant Esca. In addition to being delicious, it involves no more than three ingredients—two of which you probably have in your pantry already. The third might require a trip to the market (try the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market) to snag the freshest ingredient you’ll need. While buying a live lobster might seem daunting, it’s not too traumatizing and really adds to the final quality of the dish, as the pasta that cooks in the water is also used to steam the lobster.
Calories per serving: 260 per serving
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
1 1 ½ to 1 ¾ poundlive lobster
4 tablespoonsolive oil
1 tablespoonminced garlic
1 teaspooncrushed red pepper
1/2 cupchopped mint
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put about an inch of water into another large pot, add a not-too-big pinch of salt, put in lobster and cover pot. Steam lobster until it is red, about 3 minutes; you do not have to cook it through. Remove it and keep water simmering with cover off.
2. As soon as you can, remove lobster’s tail and claws; return body to simmering liquid. Remove meat from claws and tail and return shells to pot; chop meat roughly.
3. Put olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and lobster meat and toss; cook until it sizzles, then add chili flakes and lower heat. Strain lobster-cooking water, discarding body and shells; you will want a couple of cups.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta until it is not even close to tender, but just bending. Drain it, reserving some cooking liquid if you have less than 2 cups of lobster liquid. Add pasta to lobster/garlic mixture, with about a cup of lobster liquid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, adding more liquid as necessary. Stop cooking when pasta is tender, taking care not to add too much liquid.
5. Taste and add more salt, chili flakes or olive oil if you like. Stir in the mint and serve.