I 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.
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.
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.
Lobster Spaghetti With Star Anise
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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