Lobster Spaghetti With Star Anise

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IMG_1929-001I make dishes like these because I miss the summer, especially summer in Greece. One of the fondest memories I have from last year’s vacation was a day trip to Elafonissos, a small island just off the the coast of Neapoli, southern Peloponnese. The island has a pretty little main town, about 5 beaches and all of them with fine white sand and azzure blue waters.

Many friends told us about a fish tavern (psarotaverna) that also made a fabulous Lobster Spaghetti and that despite the 60+ Euros/kg., it would be worth the splurge. When in Greece, you can call a psarotaverna (assuming you’ve been there before) or pay them a visit in the back of the restaurant to have a look at the catch of the day.

I went into the Mentis Brothers’ Psarotaverna before heading to the beach and there were those still live Mediterranean lobsters – the kind with no claws. I chose the one I wanted, instructed Mr. Mentis that I wanted a lobster pasta and told him my estimated return after our day at the beach.IMG_2777

I must admit, despite swimming in one of Greece’s beautifulest beaches, my mind was pre-occupied with the lunch that was forthcoming…eating the fresh lobster tossed in a tomato sauce made of fresh ripe tomatoes and in its simplicity, I would hold on and savour each bite, each twirl of pasta that went into my mouth.IMG_2504

Upon return to Mentis’ and having eaten their lobster spaghetti, I can tell you it was worth every Euro and I would splurge and order it again and again if they were near our summer home. This lobster pasta sauce was made of onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, splash of wine and a pinch of star anise that firmly makes this the best lobster pasta I’ve ever had.

I recreated this lobster pasta for my Greek Supper Club guests a couple of week’s ago and many asked for the recipe. It’s simple, it’s easy and it’s delicious. Life is too short to be stingy and not eat lobster.IMG_1928-001

Lobster Spaghetti With Star Anise

(serves 2)

1 whole lobster, 1 1/2lb. boiled

200gr. dry spaghetti or linguine, boiled in well seasoned water (or water used to boil lobster)

For the sauce

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup diced carrots

1/4 cup diced celery

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. sweet paprika

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups of tomato puree (or 2 heaping tbsp. of tomato paste diluted in 2 cups hot water

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. ground star anise

pinch of chilli flakes

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

  1. The juices and shells from the lobster are important in building your sauce:  remove the lobster meat from the shell with a bowl underneath to capture any liquid. Once meat has been removed from the shells, reserve and strain liquid as well. Reserve shells for stock or sauce.
  2. In a large skillet, add the butter and oil over medium heat and then add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, the head/thorax from lobster and walking legs. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are translucent.
  3. Add the paprika, wine and cook for 2 minutes then add the reserved lobster juices, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, star anise and simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened (about 15-20 minutes).
  4. Remove the bay leaf, shells and take off the heat. Add the reserved lobster meat into the sauce and then add the boiled pasta , chilli flakes and chopped dill toss well to coat. Divide and plate. Serve with a Papaioannou Agiorghitiko ’07.

    Happy boy after eating lobster pasta
    Happy boy after eating lobster pasta

© 2014,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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