Spaghetti with Lobster Sauce  

Spaghetti con Salsa di Aragoste 

Pasta ca Lausta 


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 Sicily 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 housewife. 

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 Christmas dinner. 

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 the Mediterranean 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 specialties. 

Lobster can 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 hour.


Lobster Salad




My father’s “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.  

Fresh bread, good wine, nut crackers and plenty of napkins must be served to complete this special dinner. 


Preparation for Cooking 


Rinse the 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.  

Another way to prepare the lobsters is to plunge them in salted boiling water for one minute and then turn over and split In half lengthwise. 

Or have your fishmonger prepare the lobsters for you. 



Serves 4 


·        2 tablespoons of olive oil   

·        4 cloves garlic, crushed   

·        2 tablespoons of tomato paste diluted in ½ cup of water   

·        1 cans 35 oz Italian peeled tomatoes   

·        1 pinch of oregano   

·        3 lobsters (1 ½ lb. each)   

·        ½ cup olive oil   

·        I medium onion, finely minced   

·        ½ small rib of celery, finely minced   

·        2 tablespoons of chopped parsley   

·        2 bay leaves   

·        ½ cup white wine   

·        1 lb. of spaghetti   

·        Salt and pepper   



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 side. 


The Lobsters 

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. 



Spaghetti with Lobster 


The Assembly 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. 

Cook 1 pound of spaghetti al dente, following the manufacturer recommendations.  

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 themselves. 

Do not forget the nutcrackers, a good Nero di Avola wine, fresh bread, empty bowls for the shells, plenty of napkins and wet towels. 

Pasta & Lobster