Two If By Sea
"This Catalan dish (pronounced rose-ay-YACHT), which artfully combines rich shellfish, toasty pasta, and plenty of aïoli, is my favorite recipe in this entire book. It is easy and so unique—a perfect recipe for entertaining. The noodles are toasted and then simmered in the lobster cooking liquid before a quick turn under the broiler. Under that final blast of heat, the tips of the noodles curl up and char slightly, adding a pleasant bitterness and crisp texture to the dish."—Barton Seaver
Adapted from Two If By The Sea by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure, 2016).
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 cups water
- Two 1 1/2-pound lobsters (preferably new shell)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 recipe classic aïoli
- 1 bunch fresh herbs, such as chervil or parsley, leaves only
- Lemon wedges
Preheat the oven to 325°F
Working in small batches, break the spaghetti into roughly 1-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and toss to coat. Bake the noodles, tossing every few minutes, until deep brown all over, 10 to 12 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them as they can go from pale to overdone in no time.) Remove them from the oven and let them cool. If the pasta has cooked a little too much, scrape it onto a cool baking sheet to stop the cooking.
Bring 6 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the lobsters and a bay leaf and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer the lobsters to a bowl, and reserve the cooking water. Working over the bowl in order to catch all the juices, remove the meat from the lobsters and place it in a separate bowl. Add the shells (discarding the remaining innards) to the cooking water. Pour the lobster juices through a fine-mesh strainer into the cooking water. Bring to a gentle simmer to further infuse this quick broth.
Preheat the broiler to high.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large paella pan or wide enameled pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the edges begin to brown. Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the noodles and toss to coat with the oil. Add two cups of the hot lobster broth and bring to an energetic simmer. Do not stir the noodles as they cook. When the broth has been absorbed, add another two cups, cooking until absorbed. Add the remaining broth and bring to a full boil. Immediately place the entire pan directly under the broiler. Cook until the noodles have absorbed almost all of the broth, 8 to 10 minutes. The noodles will curl up, and the ends will become crisp.
Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside while you cut the lobster tails into small medallions and the claws in half. Place the meat in neat arrangements around the pan. Place a very large dollop of aïoli in the center of the dish and scatter the herbs over the top. Serve with the extra aïoli and lemon wedges on the side.