In honor of National Lobster Day, coming later in September, Adam Sobel, Executive Chef of Cal Mare in Los Angeles, is sharing a delicious, and unique, salute to this beloved shellfish with his recipe for Saffron Lobster Spaghetti.
Chef Sobel is a partner in Cal Mare, located on the ground floor of the Beverly Center in L.A. The menu celebrates the best in coastal Italian cuisine, using California’s freshest ingredients.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Sobel went to work in Las Vegas, where he opened Bradley Ogden before moving to Guy Savoy as Chef de Cuisine. Washington, D.C. soon beckoned where he was Executive Chef at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, earning the restaurant a coveted 3-star review from The Washington Post.
Prior to opening Cal Mare, he was Executive Chef at San Francisco’s RN74 and in 2014, served as guest judge on Food Network’s Chopped. That same year, RN74 earned a rare 3-1/2 star review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
You’ll definitely see that rich culinary background come to life in this creative and flavorful Saffron Lobster Spaghetti.
- 2 2 pound lobsters
- 2 Reserved lobster shells
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 liters (16.8 cups) water
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 40 pink peppercorns
- As desired orange zest
- 1 head garlic, split
- 1 head fennel, sliced thick
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 8 threads saffron
- 500 milliliters (2.1 cups) white wine
Lobster Roe Butter
- 1/4 pound lobster roe
- 1/2 pound butter
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
Roasted Garlic Paste
- 1 head garlic
- As needed olive oil
- To taste salt and pepper
For The Dish
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 12 leaves basil, chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon chives, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
- 2 cups oven-dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2 cups lobster stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lobster roe butter
- 1 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste
- 4 tablespoons parmigiana, grated
- 1 Separate claws from body of lobsters.
- 2 Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- 3 Place claws in pot and boil for 6 minutes.
- 4 Shock in ice bath.
- 5 Place tail in water, boil for 2 minutes.
- 6 Shock in ice water.
- 7 Carefully remove meat from shells and rough chop.
- 8 Reserve shells for stock.
- 1 In large sauce pan, heat oil over high heat.
- 2 Add lobster shells and begin to smash with a large spoon.
- 3 Cook shells, stirring to caramelize, being sure not to have any burnt spots.
- 4 When shells have color and a fond (brown particles at the bottom of the pan) has formed on the bottom of the pan, add the vegetables.
- 5 Begin to cook down, soften and gain color.
- 6 Add tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, not allowing it to burn on the bottom of the pan.
- 7 Deglaze with wine and cook for 3 minutes until alcohol is cooked off.
- 8 Add tomatoes, aromatics and water. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 2-3 hours, skimming any scum that forms.
- 9 Strain through a colander and then a fine mesh sieve.
- 10 Reduce the liquid by half, cool and reserve.
- 11 Add chunks of previously set aside lobster meat to the stock.
Lobster Roe Butter
- 1 Allow butter to soften.
- 2 Place in stand mixer and paddle in lobster roe.
- 3 Press through a fine mess pass. Set aside.
- 4 Wash and remove stems from tomatoes.
- 5 Preheat oven to 181 degrees F. Place tomatoes on sheet tray in oven for approximately 1-4 hours until wrinkled and savory.
- 6 Add tomatoes to the roe/butter mixture.
- 1 Cut top off garlic, season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- 2 Wrap in foil, bake at 300 degrees F for 4-6 hours until soft and golden brown.
- 3 Allow to cool slightly and squeeze garlic out to a paste.
For The Dish
- 1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- 2 In large sauté pan, heat olive oil, add sliced garlic, dried tomatoes, chile paste and roasted garlic.
- 3 Allow to toast slightly and get aromatic.
- 4 Deglaze with lobster stock and tomato sauce.
- 5 Add pasta to pan when it is almost al dente (it will finish cooking in the sauce).
- 6 Bring the sauté pan to a boil and allow the pasta to absorb the flavors of the pan sauce.
- 7 Agitate the pasta with tongs to release the starches and get the sauce creamy.
- 8 As the sauce is almost completely absorbed by the pasta, add the grated parmigiana and butter.
- 9 Toss in herbs, and continue tossing to completely emulsify the sauce and pasta.
- 10 Place in warm bowl. Garnish with more basil and cheese.