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Recipe: Lobster and saffron pasta stew

23 September 2016
Recipe: Lobster and saffron pasta stew

This dish is a real showstopper in terms of flavour. After I cooked it in under eight minutes on national TV, all the guests were asking me, "How did you make something so good in eight minutes?" They couldn't believe it. Lobster is not cheap but for a special occasion, give this recipe a go.

Serves 4

  • 400ml fresh fish stock, or 1 fish stock cube dissolved in 400ml water
  • 1tsp saffron threads
  • 4tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dried cayenne pepper (or any other dried red chilli pepper)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lobster
  • 12 roasted almonds, peeled
  • 2tbs breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 salted anchovy
  • 1tsp tomato purée
  • 25ml (1tbs + 2tsp) brandy
  • 25ml (1tbs + 2tsp) white wine
  • 1 piece (10g) dark chocolate
  • 100g thin 3-minute spaghetti, broken into 3cm pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the fish stock to the boil in a large pan over a high heat and add the saffron. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a frying pan over a high heat and add the onion, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Let it sizzle for a couple of minutes.

To prepare the lobster, cut the head in half lengthways and separate the head from the tail. Cut the tail horizontally into 2cm, 30g pieces. Twist off the claws but leave them whole. Add all the pieces to the pan.

Tip the almonds, breadcrumbs, garlic, anchovy and tomato purée into a small food processor and blend to a paste. Add to the pan. Stir for one minute and then flambé with the brandy and white wine. To do this, slowly tilt the pan towards the flame until the brandy catches, or light with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down, and then add the boiling saffron-infused fish stock, the chocolate and pasta. Season with salt and pepper and leave to boil for three minutes until the pasta is al dente, the lobster is perfectly cooked and the clams have opened. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Recipe from Spanish Made Simple by Omar Allibhoy (reviewed here). Photography by Martin Poole

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