Lobster Fra Diavolo, the dish by which all other seafood dishes are judged! Be forewarned, preparing this seafood feast it not for the feint of heart. But the wonderful culinary rewards are worth it.
To introduce our dish, you should know that “Diavolo” is Italian for devil. As a culinary term it is used to describe a tomato based sauce that is liberally spiced, with “Fra Diavolo” the Italian term for brother devil: a spicy sauce prepared with linguine and fresh seafood.
Our dish calls for preparing a homemade lobster stock made from fresh Maine Lobster. A favorite of Boston’s North End, the Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe will feature lobster, clams and mussels and take four and one-half (4 ½) hours to prepare both the homemade lobster stock and the sauce. The recipe will serve four to six people.
The first step is to prepare the lobster stock. This begins by blanching the live lobsters, cracking the claws and tails and removing the meat. Set the lobster meat aside. Please see the directions for the lobster stock preparation below.
Boston Style Lobster Fra Diavolo:
- 3 fresh, hard-shell Maine lobsters, 1 ¼ pound each, blanched with meat from the claws and tails removed to add to sauce
- 1 pound linguine
- 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
- 16 mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup small diced onion
- 2 teaspoons shallots
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cup lobster stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
- ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- 3 cups canned tomato sauce
Directions Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo:
Bring 1-gallon of salted water in large pot to a boil and add the pasta to the pot. Partially cook for 5 minutes, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside. While cooking the pasta, place a 14-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and cook until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook the ingredients until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the clams to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes. Add the mussels to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes. Add the lobster to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the parsley to the pan. Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan. Add 1 ½ cup of the lobster stock and continue to cook. Toss the pasta in the sauce until al dente, about four to five minutes. Season the pasta with the salt and toss again. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
- Par boil lobster for five minutes, cool and remove meat from claws and tails
- Add lobster body, cracked claw and tail shells
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 2 celery ribs, cut in quarters
- 2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 small head garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions Lobster Stock
Heat vegetable oil in large stock pot. Add the empty lobster claw and tail shells and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and thyme. Cut the fennel and garlic bulbs in half and add to the pot. Cover ingredients with two inches of water. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until mixture is reduced by half (about 4 hours). Add salt and black pepper to season. Strain stock and set liquid aside.
The recipe screams to be served with a sparkling Rose Champagne or a light, traditional Chianti.
© Wayne Howe 2017