March 17, 2011

Our Favorite Pasta: Lobster Spaghetti with Sweet Garlic and Chives

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Here on Herbie Likes Spaghetti, we're all about bringing you recipes, tips, and tricks on how to make easy and affordable restaurant quality food, in your own kitchen. We usually focus on the more traditional, comfort-food-esque dishes, like Rigatoni alla Vodka, Arroz con Pollo, or Macaroni and Cheese. Occasionally we go a little more highbrow, like with our Chimichurri Steak or Winter Caprese Salad. But even when we do that, we try to keep it simple, because really, we don't have that much time to cook after a long day of work, so simple is good!

I'm all about simple. Just as long as it's delicious, and I can eat it.
This is a perfect example of one of those more highbrow, luxurious dishes, yet it's still incredibly easy and simple to make. We save this one for special occasions - because the lobster costs a little extra - but you could certainly make this same dish with shrimp or monkfish and it would be just as good. All it takes is 6 ingredients - spaghetti, tomato sauce, lobster (or your shrimp or monkfish or what have you), chives, garlic, and sweet vermouth - and you've got a culinary masterpiece adorning the dinner table (or in our case, the coffee table).

Making the Dish

(Serves: 2)

1 whole lobster
1/2 lb spaghetti
1.5 cups tomato sauce
10 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
8 oz fresh chives

The first thing you'll want to do is prepare your tomato sauce. If you decide to use tomato sauce from a jar for this recipe, make sure it's a good one. You don't want to go through all the trouble and cost of making the lobster and sweet garlic only to throw it into a mediocre sauce.

As your tomato sauce is simmering, begin to make your sweet garlic. Take your whole peeled garlic cloves and put them in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. You'll want to be somewhat generous with the olive oil for this, about 1/4 cup's worth. Let the garlic start to sizzle and continue to move it around so that it doesn't burn. Occasionally, you can tilt your skillet so that a pool of olive oil forms at the bottom and the garlic slides in, cooking it on all sides.

You'll want to do this for about 10 minutes until the garlic is nicely browned and relatively soft. Then take about 1/4 cup of your sweet vermouth and pour it into the skillet.

Let the garlic sizzle in this for a while, and repeat the process from before, occasionally turning it to let the garlic bathe in the hot liquid, for another 7-10 minutes until the garlic is really soft and the liquid has reduced a fair amount to a syrupy texture. Remove from heat and let them sit in a bowl, marinating in the liquid, until you're ready to use them.

After the garlic and tomato sauce is done, next comes the lobster. You can either boil your lobster, or get it pre-cooked. Either way, break open the cooked lobster by slicing directly down the middle. You'll want to position the knife directly behind the head and press down and away from yourself, cutting as you go and splitting it in half.

Then turn it around and do the same thing in the other direction. There may be some green goop in there. It's gross. We're not going to tell you what it is, but you probably have a good idea. Rinse it out. Take out all the meat you can find from the tail and the claws and set them aside.

If you have someone like Herbie helping you cook, you'll need to do your best restraining job here. Herbie loves lobster - he has very highbrow tastes.

After you've removed the lobster meat from the shell, chop it up into manageable pieces. You'll want them to be about 1 - 2 inch cubes so that they can be easily speared on a fork and eaten in one bite. We tend to leave the claws whole though, because they look pretty cool, and each of us gets a claw.

The last thing to do for the sauce is to pull it all together. In a large skillet or sauce pan, throw in a touch of olive oil over medium heat. Toss in your lobster meat, and let sizzle and take on the flavor of the oil for a few seconds.

Next, add in your sweet garlic (try to put in just the garlic, leave the syrup out), and chives, and stir together. You'll want to cut the chives to be about two inches long.

Finally, add in the tomato sauce and stir together until everything is nicely combined. Once the lobster, tomato, and chives are incorporated, remove from heat.

We used a fresh made pasta from Eataly for this, as we love the texture of the fresh pasta with the lobster. You can use dry pasta if you'd like too - it's just as good - but if you do, get it started ahead of time because you're pretty close to finished at this point. Cook your pasta until it's one minute shy of al dente, and when you're there, take it out of the water, add it directly to your sauce, and toss everything together.

If it's not quite loose enough for you liking, you can add in a bit of the pasta water. Take a nice heaping portion of the pasta and sauce and put it in a bowl. Make sure to get a few pieces of the garlic on your plate, and top with nice big chunks of lobster. Drizzle with a touch of good olive oil if you want to be fancy.

The Result
As promised, you'll have in front of you a culinary masterpiece after no more than 30 minutes of work on your part! You'll have truly impressed yourself with this one, and you'll rush to eat it all. 

The simplicity of the ingredients, and how well their flavors work together, is really what makes this dish work so well. The sweet and savory garlic couples wonderfully with the luscious lobster, is balanced by the chives, and the tomato sauce pulls everything together.

It's a wonderful dish. We hope you give it a try and let us know how it goes in the comments!


  1. haha! Wow I am loving your blog. Your photos are great and I love that you include your little kitty. Super cute.
    You've got a new follower :)

  2. :) Thanks! Herbie will be happy to hear that

  3. Thank you very much Herbie!, I hope to have a chance to make this useful, interesting dish, I bet it is as tasty as it look., also one more thing Herbie your an awesome kitty cat. =^+.+^=

  4. Oh my goodness, I want lobster NOW. This looks amazing.

  5. You did a fantastic job setting up this blog.

  6. Herbie licking his mouth = priceless!

  7. That is a wonderful dish. I love the colors, and I really want that delicious claw!

  8. Easy to follow cooking guide and superb photography! I'm going to give your recipe a try soon!

  9. Congrats on the Blog of Note! I'm now a follower and think you should have your own cookbook :) Love the recipes and the photos of your cat!

  10. What a great blog! I love these super-sized pictures - this all looks yummy!!

    Read Aloud Dad

  11. Wow! I'm with the cat...I am licking my lips! congrats on being names a blog of note...I plan to start following your blog. I write one about Spain and my friend and I are working on a Spanish cookbook here...maybe you should too! YUM!

  12. Hurrah for Highbrow Herbie! This recipe looks amazeballs.

  13. Wow! This is my first visit to your blog & I love it! I love Herbie, too! He is too cute. I'm adding you to blogs I follow. Saluti!

  14. Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments and compliments! We really appreciate it and we're glad you like it! Herbie is loving all the attention :)

  15. That fantastic! realy! these website is way better then everything I ever saw.

    Kid Rock Tickets

  16. I'm so hungry after reading this! Yikes, I need to run out and grab a lobster fast. Very yummy blog!

  17. Holy cow that looks divine! And that cat... TOO CUTE. :)

  18. Wow what detailed photos! I'm starving now. Herbie is a cutie. I love cats.

  19. Wonderful blog! I am so envious of all that spectacular food! Great photos! Congrats on being named a blog of note. Much deserved! If you have a moment, check out my A Camp Host's Meanderings blog at

  20. Thanks! This is one of our favorites - it is really divine :)

    Levonne hopefully you can try some of the recipes out at home! Let us know if you have any questions!

  21. Wait I'm actually salivating right now, great blog. I think I've got to do my stomach a favor and follow you...

  22. handsome blog..and an even more handsome 'Herbie'..shall i look forward to see you cook indian food too?.. ;)


  23. These look incredible. I wish I cooked more so I could follow some of the recipes. The photos are amazing. Do you take them yourself?

  24. First, "Congrats on your "Blog of Note"!

    Secondly, I'm with Herbie. "Let's Eat!"

    ~ Ken

  25. How do you get such great pictures?

    I love Herbie! :-)

  26. Lovely picture of Herbie licking his chops! A very nicely presented food blog which I'm following. Congrats on the blog of note!

    Check out my blog too:

  27. Considering all that delicious looking food Herbie is looking very trim. Our aging ginger tom McG has been on a diet since he was six months old and hit a stone…Eeek, that was over 14 years ago. We even had to start clearing all our sideboards at night before we go to bed, after he broke into a bag and ate 4 donuts….

    Boy you have left me salivating and all I have in the fridge is a bottle of milk and a lump of mouldy cheese, looks like wafer thin sliced cheese lovingly smeared in milk for me again….Hmmm, I often wonder why I don’t include recipes on the BlackLOG

  28. What a fantastic blog! I love these super-sized pictures - this all looks yummy!! Thanks for sharing :)

  29. Just made this for dinner. It was FABULOUS!

  30. Thanks for all the kind comments, you guys!

    Jenn - So glad to hear it was successful! Lobster spaghetti is SO addictive. I always want to have it.

    BlackLOG - Herbie really appreciates the "looking trim" compliment :) He gets his exercise by fiercely jumping on the bed every morning at 6am.


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