For anyone who has ever failed to score dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, it may feel like the only recourses are to either hope some other happy couple has a conveniently timed breakup or to huddle behind a favorite restaurant hoping some kindly chef takes pity on you Lady and the Tramp-style. But wait! There is, in fact, a better way.
Chef Antonio Salandic, formerly of Westchester’s Dubrovnik, bequeathed us his recipe for pasta with lobster from the Island of Mljet. It’s surprisingly easy to prepare and plates gorgeously, ensuring you a fabulous lobster dinner in the comfort of your own home.
1½ cloves garlic
¼ bunch parsley
4 whole vine-ripe tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole fresh lobster in shell
2 shots Croatian cognac
½ cup Pošip wine
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
½ lb homemade pasta fettuccine
Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet on medium-high until hot. Add the onions, garlic, and parsley, and sauté until tender and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the whole tomatoes.
Chop off the lobster’s tail and claws. Chop the tail into segments horizontally. Add it to the skillet along with the wine and 2 glasses of water.
Add the 2 shots of cognac. Stir in the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.
Add the homemade pasta and lower heat to a very slow simmer, leaving a small opening to air. Make sure pasta is fully submerged and cook slowly, until al dente or your desired firmness.
Serve the cooked lobster over a bed of pasta and enjoy!