Several summers ago I was on a mission to find quick and easy lobster recipes to add to my repertoire. I sometimes find it hard to stray beyond the basics because steamed lobster, lobster rolls and lobster Newburg taste so mind-blowingly good. But a month long vacation in Cutler, with access to as much lobster as I could shake a stick of Cabot butter at, prompted me to take my lobster cooking to a new level.
I made a lip-smacking lobster fettuccine Alfredo, a towering lobster club sandwich, golden grilled cheese stuffed with morsels of lobster meat and a zesty lobster Caesar salad. By the end of my month in Maine, I was running out of ideas for new crustacean creations. Thankfully, my best friend and favorite cooking partner came for a visit and suggested a lobster pasta recipe from Epicurious magazine.
The lobster recipe had only 12 ingredients and could be prepared in under 20 minutes if one was working with lobster leftovers (cooked and shelled meat), which we were. The elements of the dish also ticked a lot of boxes for me. The recipe called for mascarpone cheese, which tastes amazing with lobster. Similar to ricotta, which I use in my lobster ravioli, mascarpone has a creamy, smooth texture and a subtle flavor that enhances the sweet, succulent taste of lobster. The recipe also called for peas, which I love serving with my lobster Newburg, and Cavatelli pasta, which has a fun shape, similar to that of a hot dog bun. The other ingredients – shallots, garlic, parsley, thyme, chives, olive oil and salt – are kitchen staples for many cooks and not hard to source if you’re in a remote part of Maine like Cutler.
To make the recipe, we gathered fresh peas from my father’s vegetable garden and cut the cooked lobster meat into bite-sized chunks. We boiled and drained the pasta and peas then heated the oil in a large sauté pan, adding the shallots and garlic. After about a minute of cooking, the shallots and garlic turned translucent and we added the chicken stock, peas, parsley, thyme, chives, pasta, Mascarpone and lobster to the mix. We could quickly see that the existing sauce was not nearly enough to properly coat the pasta in the way we envisioned it would so, in another pan, we pulled together a second batch of sauce consisting of reduced white wine, chicken stock, the rest of the container of mascarpone, a few tablespoons of flour and some salt. Even with this slight detour the whole sauteing process took less than 10 minutes. Once the additional batch of sauce was added to the original dish the composition was perfect. Then it was on to eating – my favorite step of any recipe!
If you make this dish, I encourage you to get creative with the sauce. Taste as you cook and adjust along the way until you get the flavor and consistency of sauce you desire. And enjoy.
Lobster Pasta with Mascarpone and Peas Recipe
2 pounds cooked, picked lobster meat, cut into bite sized chunks
1 pound cavatelli pasta (fresh if you can find it)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock (alternatively you can make your own lobster stock)
1/2 cup of white wine
8 ounces fresh peas (if you must use frozen peas, use the small, flavorful petit pois)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 cup Mascarpone (add even more if you want a creamier texture)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons of flour
Cook the lobsters (if not already cooked). Boil and drain the pasta and the peas.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, adding the shallots and garlic. After about a minute of cooking, when the shallots and garlic turn translucent, add the white wine and reduce.
Add the chicken stock (or lobster stock), peas, parsley, thyme, chives, pasta, Mascarpone, and lobster. Simmer until lobster is heated through. Spoon in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken and a bit of salt.
Spoon onto your plates and serve.