Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce
Spaghetti con Salsa di
The Italian sounding “Lobster fra diavolo” is a dish
that you will never find in the menu of a restaurant in Italy, on any table in
or in the Italian peninsula. “Lobster fra Diavolo”, “Spaghetti with Meat Balls” and “Veal Francese” are a few
examples of a collection of recipes invented by home-style Italian-American restaurants in the
U.S.A.or by some imaginative Italian-American
Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce is not prepared anywhere
in Italy; and in fact is a specialty exclusively prepared only in the town of Trapani, in Sicily and in a few
locations in Sardinia, where fishermen from Trapani emigrated in various times. In
Trapani, this special dish now is part of the traditional
Lobsters are abundant around the coastal area
of Trapani, in Sicilyand in the northern and western seas of
the Islandof Sardinia; commercial and recreational fishing is extensively
practiced, however lobsters are harvested in all coastal areas of the peninsula and in the entire basin of
Sea. Lobsters are
considered a delicacy and command a very high price; although in Americathe lobsters are costly, they are very affordable.
My father who was involved in the wholesale trade of
fish, before coming to the U.S.A., spent a lot of time in
Trapaniand because he loved to cook, he mastered the art of
preparing lobster: and in fact lobster dishes and spaghetti with lobster sauce became one of his
be boiled in a wine-vegetables- herbs bouillon and served in chunks with cherry tomato, celery and herbs,
sprinkled with a light dressing; or spit in half, simply dressed either with herbed butter or an abundant amount
of olive oil, salt and pepper, sprinkled with a generous amount of breadcrumbs, then baked for about half
“Trapani style” “Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce” recipe will result in a dish of incomparable taste, with the
scent of the sea and the delicate aroma of herbs and spices; he offered the juicy and delicious lobsters in a
serving dish to let the guests help themselves to strip the meat from the shell, the claws and the legs, using
their hands and the nutcrackers.
good wine, nut crackers and plenty of napkins must be served to complete this special
Preparation for Cooking
live lobsters in running water and insert a knife in the soft spot behind the lobster’s eyes, about 1 ½ inches
down and move in rapid motion.
Cut the eyes
with scissors. Turn over each lobster and split lengthwise down the middle. Remove and discard the black sac in
the head and the dark intestinal vein, in the tail portion.
to prepare the lobsters is to plunge them in salted boiling water for one minute and then turn over and split In
Or have your
fishmonger prepare the lobsters for you.
· 2 tablespoons of
· 4 cloves garlic,
· 2 tablespoons of
tomato paste diluted in ½ cup of water
· 1 cans 35 oz
Italian peeled tomatoes
· 1 pinch of
· 3 lobsters (1 ½
· ½ cup olive
· I medium onion,
· ½ small rib of
celery, finely minced
· 2 tablespoons of
· 2 bay
· ½ cup white
· 1 lb. of
· Salt and
The Tomato Sauce
To prepare the tomato sauce, use a large sauce pot big enough to contain the sauce and the
lobsters for the final cooking.
Over medium heat, sauté 2 tablespoons of oil and 4 crushed cloves of garlic. Cook the garlic
until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, remove and discard.
Add the tomato paste diluted in water a little at a time; cook for a few minutes. Pour peeled
tomatoes into a large bowl, squash them with you hands and put them into the saucepan. Add basil, salt,
pepper and oregano, and continue cooking at medium heat for 15 minutes. Set on the
In a large skillet, over a medium heat combine 4 tablespoons of oil, onion, celery and sauté
until the onions are a light golden color. Add the lobsters, meat side down, and sauté for 7 minutes on both
sides; because you will not be able to fit all the lobsters in one batch, sauté in a few batches adding more
oil if needed. Set on the side.
Extract the meat from 1 lobster (2 halves) to use as garnish to the spaghetti. Twist the claws
to separate the tail from the body, crack open and with the help of a spoon, scrape off and push the meat out
of the shells; slice into chunks and put the lobster’s meat on the side.
The Lobsters and the Sauce
Place the pot with the sauce over a medium-high heat and transfer into it the sautéed lobsters
with the onions and celery, the lobster’s meat, the chopped parsley and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Add the
wine and keep boiling until the alcohol evaporates, about 2 minutes; adjust for salt, and lower the heat to a
simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. When done remove and discard the bay leaves.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.
Cook 1 pound of spaghetti al dente, following the
Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pot; add 2 ladles of tomato-lobster sauce, and quickly
mix it until pasta and sauce are well combined.
Divide the spaghetti into 4 dishes, spoon over a few tablespoons of tomato-lobster sauce and
garnish with the lobster meat. And don’t forget to provide flaked hot pepper, peperoncino for the lovers of extra spicy foods.
Serve the lobsters in a large serving dish and let your guest help
Do not forget the nutcrackers, a good Nero di Avola
wine, fresh bread, empty bowls for the shells, plenty of napkins and wet towels.