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Recipe Colu Henry, writer, recipe developer and Cooking contributor for The New York Times
This might be the best pasta I've made in a very long time. In fact, it is. I opted to slightly caramelize the shallot, fennel and cayenne and if you have the time, you should. It intensifies the flavor and offers additional sweetness. If you don't have time, the pasta will still be great if you cook your mirepoix for 3 to 5 minutes, but I wanted you to know you have options. I realize lobster pasta on a weeknight could be extravagant, but it really doesn't have to be. There is always something to celebrate. Serves 4
12 ounces pasta such as
calamarata or paccheri
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb finely chopped
1 fresh cayenne pepper, thinly sliced or ½ -1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 14-ounce can cherry tomatoes in their juices, such as Mutti
1 pint sungold tomatoes
1 pound lobster meat
A handful of basil for serving
1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil and cook two minutes short of al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch pan, heat the oil and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, fennel and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently until they begin to caramelize and turn golden around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds more. Season with salt.
3. Turn heat to medium and add the wine to the pan. Simmer until it is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the canned cherry tomatoes as well as the sungolds and simmer for 10 minutes until they begin to slightly lose their shape. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the lobster to the pot and stir to coat, followed by the pasta, ½ cup of the pasta water and remaining butter. Toss together until the lobster is warmed through and the pasta is glossy with sauce adding more pasta water as needed.
5. Plate in bowls and scatter with basil.