Ever since I decided to try to get a little more creative in the kitchen a few years ago, I’ve accumulated a little list of chefs I’d like to meet. A lot of people would figuratively die were they to meet a famous actress or actor, maybe a famous author they love (OK, I would, too), but here lately I am so in love with Ina Garten recipes that she’s the one for me. The one I’d, in my imagination at least, keel over sideways were I to open my door and there she was. After patching up any bruises and cuts she and I would then commence to cooking some serious food. We would cook everything. All of it. Anything she suggested I would say yes to immediately, even that odd-looking liver pâté stuff I saw her make the other day.
So, we broke out the lobster. As you can see it will include pasta. It’s a lobster pasta salad and yes, yes, even I thought, “But surely there’s better uses for lobster.”
But I also know that, dammit, sometimes you just need to chuck some lobster chunks into an awesome pasta salad. We can crack those tails open and dip them in butter till the dolphins come home, but the fact is – lobster makes everything rock. So, lobster pasta salad it is, folks! And it is good. Good enough for me to mock genuflect it.
Our mother called me up last weekend and said she and my sis had procured a couple of lobster tails at the grocery store for us and I just knew then that this recipe was on the horizon. And not just on the horizon but barreling toward us as if the winds of cooking were fueling it.
I’ve, ahem, had my eye on this recipe for a while. So I bought more lobster tails, naturally.
There are some gorgeous colors going on here. And you know what? Pretty food doesn’t really mean it will be good food…but when it is pretty and good at the same time? Shaaawing!
By the way, fresh dill looks like a green shag carpet after you’ve chopped it up. Just sayin’.
The dressing is very simple – mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper. We ended up tossing the dill in with the dressing later.
Once you’ve cooked the lobster and chopped it up, boiled the pasta and drained it, you let things cool a little and then you just started combining it all. Like so.
Yeah, lookit, we’re throwing lobster in this salad. You know it, hip wiggle.
Throw in that simple yet wonderful dressing and mix, gently mix and salivate. Just, you know, no salivating in the bowl. Save that for your plate.
OK, you can drool now.
Really now, people, what is more warm-weather lovin’ than something like this pasta salad? It’s begging to be eaten outside on a sunny day, maybe a sneaky relative or friend picking through for the best lobster pieces (I know nothing of such shenanigans). Full of bright, vibrant texture and taste, this is one awesome recipe. Enjoy…cuz if you don’t I’m not sure what else we can do for you!
Lobster & Shells
adapted slightly from the original in Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: About 10-25 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4-6
- Kosher salt
- Good olive oil
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) small pasta shells
- Kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 3 cups)
- 6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and small-diced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat, medium-diced
- 3/4 cup good mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup minced fresh dill
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt and some olive oil. Add the pasta and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Add the corn in the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking. Drain the pasta and corn together in a colander and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add the scallions, diced pepper, tomatoes, and lobster, tossing gently to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoons pepper until smooth. Pour over the pasta and mix well to bind the ingredients. Stir in the dill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Check the seasonings and serve chilled or at room temperature.
We didn’t chill nuthin’ for six hours, we ate this salad right away and it was great even room temp. Some was reserved for later for mine and hubby’s dinner, but even after a few hours chilling I wouldn’t say the taste really improved. It was just as good – which is mighty darn good – but not sure that chilling brings things out any more. Only thing I did differently after it had been in the fridge for hours was to add a little more of the dressing right before serving. This seemed to make a difference for me taste-wise, improving it I mean, and made all the individual pieces less clingy with one another.
We cooked the lobster (our first time boiling the yummy stuff) for fifteen minutes in boiling, salted water, pushing them back down into the water occasionally once they started to float. We had a little less than a pound, about 15 ounces. The meat was not at all soggy, but nice and firm like one expects lobster to be. Wait for them to cool, about 10-15 minutes. We used a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the shells off them for the most part before prying the rest off by hand.
We ended up only needing one lemon to get 1/4 cup, so hold off on cutting up your 2nd one till you’re sure if you’ll need it or not.
Lobster a little too pricey in your area? Try substituting a pound of large cooked shrimp instead.
Our mayo was a light mayo, by the way, and worked great.