There’s a general rule that seafood and cheese shouldn’t be combined. I’ve never been a great believer of this, and if there was ever going to be an exception to that rule, then this is it. Gooey, oozy, cheesy pasta taken up a notch or ten by the addition of lobster. I usually buy lobster tails, they’re the meatiest part of the lobster and extracting the meat is a relatively easy task. I used 2 lobster tails in the recipe below and the shelled weight of the meat was 370g. I certainly wouldn’t go less than that for serving 3 people, but if you’re feeling indulgent a lobster tail per person wouldn’t be a bad thing at all!
Ingredients – serves 3
300g ridged penne pasta – any hollow pasta shape would work well
2 uncooked lobster tails, meat removed from shells and chopped into bite size chunks
2 cloves of garlic crushed in a garlic press or finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
2 cups grated fontina, about 300g – Gruyere would also work well
1/2 cup mascarpone, about 100g
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
1 bunch of chives finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons parmesan
Preheat oven to 180C. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook pasta until just slightly under done. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
Heat the butter in a saucepan and add garlic. Cook until garlic has softened then add tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Add flour and stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Using a whisk and whisking continuously add the milk and cream and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add 3/4 of the fontina, the mascarpone, chicken stock, Cognac, and 3/4 of the chives. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce. Season well with salt then add the cayenne and nutmeg. Gently fold through the lobster. Add the cheese and lobster mixture to the pasta and gently stir through until well combined.
Transfer the pasta into an oven proof dish and top with the remaining fontina and chives, the cheddar and parmesan. Bake on the centre shelf for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly. Lovely served with a sharp green salad.