Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
This dish is quite popular in my family, especially around Christmas time when seafood is a holiday tradition for Italians. However, it’s the kind of dish to turn to in any season if you want to make something a little extra special – nothing makes a dish feel celebratory quite like lobster does!
“Fra Diavolo” loosely translates to “brother devil,” and it’s because of the heat! You can use red pepper flakes as the recipe calls for, or Calabrian Chili Paste if you happen to have it. Of course, you can adjust the spice to your own taste – start small if you wish.
The key to this recipe is the pomodorini tomatoes. Italian grocery stores will carry them, as will some specialty markets, but you can also get my absolute favorite ones from our store. (Aunt Raffy agrees – says they’re “the best tomatoes in the world!”) Because pomodorini tomatoes are so sweet and vibrant, you don’t have to cook them for very long. That’s the beauty of them!
This recipe works with 2 lobster tails, by chopping up the meat of one, and then cutting the second one into quarters so that each person is ensured a decent amount. If you desire, you can use more lobster tails, and chop up the rest to add to the sauce.
Lobster Fra Diavolo
- 1 pound pasta, such as Calamarata
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lobster tails, plus more if desired*
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 14.5 oz can pomodorini cherry tomatoes, such as Corbara
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped, for garnish
- To cook the lobster tails, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Once boiling, bring the temperature down to a simmer, just below boiling. Add the lobster tails (if frozen, allow them to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes first). Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the lobster shell looks bright red, and the meat turns white and tender. Drain and set aside.
- For the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, take the meat out of one of the lobster tails, dice into cubes, and set aside.* Reserve the empty lobster tail; this will be used to flavor the sauce. Cut the second lobster tail in half and in half again, resulting in 4 equal parts, to ensure that each serving will have lobster.
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, the reserved emptied lobster shell, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Discard the empty lobster shell.
- Add the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tomatoes, basil, chopped lobster meat, and the 4 quarters of the second lobster tail. Cook until the lobster meat and tomatoes are just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the linguine to the pot and stir to coat the pasta in the sauce. Add the butter, and gently stir and swirl the pan until dissolved. Serve, ensuring each bowl has a quarter of the lobster tail, and garnish with fresh mint.
- *If using more than 2 lobster tails, chop up the meat in the additional lobster tails and add to the dish with the tomatoes and basil. Reserve just one empty lobster tail shell to flavor the sauce, and discard the rest.