Lobster Fra Diavolo

Adapted from Dave Pasternack's The Young Man and the Sea, Recipes and Crispy Fish Tales from Esca

Makes 6 servings


  • Four 1-pound lobsters, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 chiles (such as habanero, jalapeno, serrano, or banana), seeded and minced
  • 2 cups simple red sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced crosswise


Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like seawater for the lobsters. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Step 2: Separate the lobster claws, split the tails into four pieces, and discard the bodies. If you buy the lobsters within a few hours of when you're going to use them, have the fishmonger do the dirty work. Note of caution: I recommend calling your fishmonger in advance to make sure he or she will do your dirty work for you.  My friend and I went to the local grocery store close to my house and asked the fishmonger to kill and dismember the lobster as the recipe suggested. Apparently he was morally against killing and dismembering them and refused to do it for us. I have to say that killing the lobster was no fun experience and I can almost understand the crazy fishmonger's moral dilemma.  For step by step instructions on how to kill and dismember a lobster, click on the following link: http://ahungerartist.bobdelgrosso.com/2007/06/how-to-kill-live-lobster.html.  Jeffrey Dahmer or Hannibal Lector, I will never be!  
Step 3: Reserve lobster tails separately, cooking claws in salted water for 5 minutes. Remove and crack open using the back of a knife. Reserve any interior water and juices from the shells and add it to the final sauce for flavor boost. 
Step 4: Add spaghetti to the second pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain but do not rinse, reserving 1 cup cooking water.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Step 5: Cut each tail in half lengthwise and then widthwise, yielding four pieces. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large sauté pan over medium heat and add tailpieces (the shell still attached to meat). 
Step 6: When lobster meat begins to look white (about 2 minutes), add onions, garlic, and chiles and let sweat until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
Step 7: Add reserved pasta water, tomato sauce, cooked lobster claws and simmer, reducing sauce to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Add pasta to sauce, tossing to coat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and any reserved liquid from claws; salt and pepper to taste.
Step 9: Divide pasta among four warmed serving bowls and sprinkle with basil.


I am making lobster fra diavalo. can I cook and save for one day, reheat and serve

I've never tried just making the sauce and then serving it the next day with the pasta. It might be ok to do that.

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