serves: makes 6 servings
Lobster cooked slowly with tomato, vinegar and onions is delicious on its own, with Polenta or with pasta- either freshly made Maltagliate or store bought spaghetti. The vinegar in this recipe is an old technique used by Venetian sailors to preserve their food- it actually gives a nice balance to the sweetness of the lobster.
6 lobsters, (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1½ cups onion, diced
1 cup scallions , diced
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine vinegar
3 cups water, hot
4 cups San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
Maltagliate, or 1 pound spaghetti
Cut the live lobsters into serving pieces for sauce according to the directions on. If you plan to serve the lobster with pasta, bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, lightly coat the exposed meat of the lobster tails with flour, shaking off excess flour. The oil is hot enough when a corner of a lobster tail dipped in the oil gives off a lively sizzle. Add lobster tails, meat side down, and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the tails from the oil and set them aside.
In a large, wide non-reactive saucepan or small stockpot heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lobster body pieces and cook, stirring, until they turn bright red, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook 5 minutes. Blend vinegar with hot water, add to pan and bring to a full boil. Add tomatoes and salt bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Stir in peperoncino to taste.
Remove lobster bodies with tongs, allowing all juices to drain back into sauce. (The bodies should be reserved for another use, or, if the meal is informal, they may be served on a communal platter in the center of the table. The most delicate meat is in those bodies and should not be wasted).
Add the claws to the pan and cook 7 minutes. (If you plan to serve the brodetto with pasta, add the pasta to the boiling water at this point.) Add the reserved tails, lobster legs and the remaining olive oil. Simmer until the lobster tails are fully cooked, 3 to 5 minutes longer over high heat, skimming off all surface foam. Remove tails and claws, and keep warm under aluminum foil. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil until slightly thickened. Arrange the lobster pieces on a warm platter and spoon the hot sauce over them. To serve the brodetto with pasta, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add half the lobster sauce and toss to coat over low heat. Transfer the pasta to a platter and flank with the lobster pieces. Spoon the remaining sauce over the lobster.