Baked Penne Pasta with Lobster
Print This Recipe
by Perrier, Georges
Preparing the Gratin:
Grip the lobster on the back of its thorax, or main body shell. Look for the place where two sections of the shell meet. Plunge the point of a sharp’s chef’s knife between the shell sections (This kills the lobster instantly). Split the lobsters lengthwise from head to tail. Separate the two halves. Remove the “sand sac” or small bag, from each side of the head and discard. Remove any dark green roe sacs and set aside.
Cut off both claws and break the claw shells by hitting with a meat pounder. Heat a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil, until just beginning to smoke. Sear the lobster body pieces at high heat until they run bright red. Add vegetables and bouquet garm. Cook together for 3 minutes. Add cognac and port to pan and add heat slightly. Keeping your face away from the flame, flambé’ (ignite with a long match). When the flames subside, add heavy cream and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove lobster pieces and cool.
Remove meat from the shells. Cut the lobster meat into large chunks and set aside. Return the shells to the liquid and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is somewhat thickened. Strain through a sieve and thicken with beurre manie’, using only as much as necessary. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. The sauce should be fluide, light enough to be readily absorbed by the half-cooked penne.
Finishing the Gratin:
Preheat the oven to 425degreesF. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add the penne. Bring back to a boil and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the pasta is half cooked. Drain the pasta and toss immediately with the sauce and cut-up lobster meat. Spoon into a shallow gratin dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Place the gratin dish in a second pan and fill halfway with hot water to make a bain-marie or water bath. Bake at 425degreesF for 15 minutes or until browned. Serve directly from the gratin dish.
Two 1 1/2 pound lobsters, preferably female
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
Bouquet garm (1 sprig each thyme, and tarragon, 2 bay leaves)
1/4 cup port
2 tablespoons cognac
1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
1 tablespoon Beurre Manie’
1/2 pound penne (preferably imported Italian)
1/4 cup fresh, soft bread crumbs