Lobster spaghetti with samphire and sheep’s cheese
- September 2018
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 45 min
“A single lobster won’t normally feed a family but this recipe makes it go further and uses all the flavour in the shell. In spring I like to use agretti (also called monk’s beard) for its salty, spinach taste, but at other times of the year I use samphire, which grows on tidal flats and salt marshes all over the UK’s coastline and is easier to get hold of.” – Gill Meller.
- 16.7g (9.3g saturated)
- 63.6g (1.9g sugars)
- 750g-1kg whole sustainable British lobster, cooked
- 350g dried spaghetti
- 100g marsh samphire, trimmed and washed (from Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco,
- Sainsbury’s and Morrisons in season, or from fishmongers)
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Good pinch chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- 50g pecorino or similar hard sheep’s cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
- Put the cooked lobster on a chopping board with the head towards you. With the tip of a sharp, heavy knife on the cross on the lobster’s head, press down firmly, cutting through the head towards you. Turn the lobster round so the tail is now facing you. Carefully cut from the split in the head down though to the tip of the tail in one firm motion. Keep the blade central so you end up with two even halves. Remove the gills, small stomach sac behind the mouth and the digestive tract that looks like a black vein running the length of the tail. Discard them. Remove the tail meat and the liver (known as tomalley, it might look unappetising but it has a rich, powerful flavour). Using a rolling pin, gently crack open the claws and knuckles and remove the meat.
- Bash the shell into small bits and pack them into a medium pan with enough water just to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain the liquid through a sieve, discard the pieces of shell and return the liquid to the pan. Put back on the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes until reduced to about 100ml.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it well and add the spaghetti. Cook according to the pack instructions, adding the samphire for the last minute, then drain in a colander and set aside while you make the sauce.
- Return the large pan to the heat. Add the butter, olive oil, chilli and garlic. Sizzle for a minute or two but don’t let the garlic burn.
- Chop the lobster meat and add to the pan with the reserved 100ml lobster stock. When hot, add the spaghetti and samphire with the parsley and pecorino. Tumble everything together with a pair of forks, season well with salt and pepper and take to the table with some extra cheese for grating.
If you want to buy a live lobster and cook it yourself, here’s how to do it humanely…
Put the lobster in the freezer for about an hour, which sedates it, then drop it into a large pot of boiling salted water.
Cook a 500g lobster for about 10 minutes and a 750g lobster for 15 minutes. Allow 5 minutes more for each extra 500g after that. Lift the lobster out of the pan; leave it to cool, then it’s ready to crack open and eat.
Look for a fruity white with a fresh streak of citrus –New Zealand riesling gets my vote.
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Or, how about...?
Use this stock as a base for bisque-like soups, shellfish stews or paella-like rice dishes.