Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lobster Spaghetti

Costco is a vast Aladdin's Cave of things you don't really need but struggle to resist. 3 metre high TV sets, rolls of cellophane big enough to wrap Wales, BBQ sauce bottles so vast the label's got a life size picture of Ainsley Harriot's mug. Actually, even with the offer of a free tasting, everyone was managing to resist that. Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted something new. According to the lady manning the icy stall it was their 'seafood event'. Isn't it marvellous when retail managers come back from courses on how to enthuse shoppers? It only happens once a month, so I'd lucked out. Then she told me the lobsters had just been halved in price. Major result.

Lobsters have become more affordable in recent years. Thanks mainly to the greed of fishermen. Although Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall may disagree, hunting Canada's cod to extinction wasn't entirely bad. They fed on baby lobsters and crabs, so once gone, the sea starting hoaching with these much tastier crustacea.

The advantage of getting something luxurious cheap, is that I'm willing to experiment in a way I'd never do with say a fresh, live Scottish lobster. That just gets grilled with a little butter. With these, the shells got turned into Lobster Bisque, but that's for another time, for now, here's my Lobster Spaghetti recipe. It was rather good.

While the spaghetti's cooking, saute a garlic clove in a little olive oil. Add a couple of finely chopped tomatoes and cooked till they're a bit soft, then add some decent quality tomato puree. Fry for a few minutes then put in a good splash of wine and reduce by about a half. If you have any brandy in a tablespoon added with the wine would work wonders. Next in with some double cream, bubbled to reduce a little too, suppose it was about four tablespoons, then the lobster meat just to warm through. Finally added some fresh basil leaves and then mixed the whole lot through with the spaghetti. Parmesan's optional.

The reason I joined Costco was the wine. They stock some really good bottles often at a fraction of the price you'd pay elsewhere. So using the fine monetary logic that's served me so well over the years, I reasoned that having "saved" £13 on the lobsters I should trade up for a decent wine to accompany them. I went for this.

It was just shy of £17 a bottle and is without doubt the best return I've had on a wine in years. It was immense. Fabulous texture with a multi layered taste that included tropical fruits, smokey bacon and ginger. It's quite sweet and far too much for the lobster, probably for any food, it screams for your undivided attention. According to Costco, Robert Parker scored this wine 95 points. For once, I'm not surprised.


  1. I've still never been to a Costco but good tip on the wine - will schedule a visit soon!


  2. I'm afraid I own all copyright to what's known in our house as Ripponomics. I have long taught those who care to listen that a pound saved is a pound extra for a coming extravagaanza. Only last week I saved over £400 by not buying an iPad2. I've not yet decide what to do with this unexpected windfall.


    PS Love the blog.

  3. You found lobster in a Costco? Intriguing match btw with the Pinot Gris.

  4. get yourself down there Briony, you have to pay for membership, but one large purchase and you'll make your money back several times over.

    David, suspected it was possibly genetic. Maybe we need a family motto? How about: "Fortuna Existiti Absumo"... "Fortunes are there to be squandered". Should add, I squandered my Latin classes too.

    Douglas, thought the Pinot Gris was worth a shot. It sort of worked but was just a tad too sweet and so damn nice to sip on it's own it didn't really need the distraction of food.

  5. I tried this recipe last night - with a few variations in that I only had single cream, & substituted fresh basil for a dollop of pesto - & it was excellent. So thank you for helping to make a frozen lobster bought months ago from Aldi (a bargain at £5) rather delicious.

  6. I love spaghetti since I was a child. My mom always cooks me, my brothers and my sister whenever it's our birthday or other special occasions that needs celebrating. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Now I can cook for my mom.

  7. It sort of worked but was only a tad as well sweet and so damn wonderful to sip on
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