Always a crowd-pleaser, spaghetti with lobster is also a dish that few wines, either red or white, cannot complement. In this context, rosé is not a compromise. And when it offers fruitiness and lively acidity, it makes a match in tune with rich seafood and tomatoes kissed by the sun, sweet yet endowed with a tartly palate-pleasing edge. It is a summer dish, when lobster prices tend to be reasonable and tomatoes are at their finest.
Time: 45 minutes
1/2 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 1-pound lobsters, cooked and shelled, or 1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat
3 tablespoons finely slivered fresh basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1 pound spaghetti alla chitarra or spaghettini
Red chile flakes
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 5-quart sauté pan or wide saucepan. Add the garlic, cook over low heat until it softens, and then add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Meanwhile, dice the lobster meat. Place 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the lobster and cook until just warmed through. Fold in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the basil. Cover and set aside.
4. When the water boils, add the spaghetti and cook until barely al dente. Drain and place in the pan with the tomatoes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Cook, stirring gently over low heat, for about 5 minutes, until the pasta and tomatoes are warmed and well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons basil.
5. Transfer to six shallow soup plates. Top each portion with lobster, garnish with basil sprigs, and serve, with red chile flakes on the side.
Yield: 6 servings
Cook’s Notes : Once the spaghetti has been cooked, as with many pasta dishes, it’s important not to shortcut stirring it in a large pan with the sauce ingredients to finish the cooking and blend the flavors. And instead of mixing the diced lobster with the sauce, I find it preferable to warm the lobster separately with olive oil and slivers of basil, then use it to top each portion of pasta. It retains its integrity that way and the presentation is more impressive.
© Wine With Food by Eric Asimov and Florence Fabricant, Rizzoli New York, 2014.