Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada)

greek lobster pasta Astakomakaronada

Recipes | August 14, 2019 | By

Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada) is the perfect summer dish

I’m currently getting ready to head off to Greece, and one thing I always look forward to when I’m there is indulging in Astakomakaronada: Greek lobster pasta. You can find the dish all over the islands in the summer. And when it’s done well it’s worth the hefty price tag.

What lobster do people eat in Greece?

While the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) is available in the Mediterranean since ancient times, it’s hard to come by these days. When you order lobster pasta in Greece, restaurants most often make the dish with the European spiny lobster. These lobsters don’t have claws, and can be red or brown in color.

Which pasta should you use in this recipe?

I’m mostly used to eating lobster pasta with spaghetti (we normally call this dish lobster spaghetti), but in this recipe I’m using orzo or kritharaki. I’m mainly doing this because I like the shape better with the lobster. I also wanted to use it because I came across a delicous spelt orzo from Zēlos Greek Artisan a wonderful online market that cultivates super exciting artisanal Greek products.

If you’re not familiar, spelt is a whole grain in the same family as wheat. It has grown in Greece for hundreds of years. It’s rich in nutrients like magnesium and iron. I also love the nutty taste and toothy texture of it. What also makes it stand out against your common pasta is that it has a higher protein content. This particular spelt orzo is made by Agrozimi a family-owned artisanal food purveyor in Northern Greece. They make their pasta using the local water from their Arávissos production facility and obtain their grains from local producers.

Lobster tails make things easy

Getting back to the lobster… I’m using lobster tails in this recipe because I think they’re a little more accessible to everyone than whole lobsters. If you can get your hands on a whole lobster and don’t mind putting it down, that would be the most authentic way to make this dish. This method utilizes lobster tails and I’m cooking the tail shells with the pasta to bring out more of the flavor. If you can find/make a good fish or lobster stock, just use that.

What are your favorite lobster pasta memories? Let me know in the comments.

Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Yield: 4 servings

Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada)

By Christina Xenos

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 lobster tails
  • 1 tablespoon Metaxa or ouzo
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, grated (or 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes if they're not in season)
  • 1 pound of orzo
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped (additional for garnish)
  • 1 bunch thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 3-4 cups water or fish stock

Instructions

  1. Saute onion and fennel in olive oil for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in chili flakes, garlic, and honey. Cook for 5-7 minutes until fennel and onion have softened.
  3. While aromatics are cooking, prepare lobster tails by making a cut down the middle of the tail.
  4. Add lobster tails to the pot and combine with the ingredients inside.
  5. Add Metaxa (or ouzo) and flambe.
  6. Pour in 3 cups of water or stock and 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  7. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
  8. Take out lobster tails, scoop out meat, cover it to keep it warm, and reserve. Return tail shells to the pot.
  9. Add tomatoes to the pot along with 1 pound of spelt orzo, thyme, and tarragon.
  10. Simmer and stir frequently until pasta is cooked, around 10 minutes. Add additional water/stock if needed.
  11. Once pasta is cooked, remove thyme bundle and lobster shells, fold in reserved lobster meat, and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and additional tarragon.

Notes

This recipe calls for using lobster tails only because I think they're a little more accessible to everyone than whole lobsters. If you can get your hands on a whole lobster and don't mind putting it down, that would be the most authentic way to make this dish. This method utilizes lobster tails and I'm cooking the shell of the tails with the pasta to bring out more of the flavor. If you can find/make a good fish or lobster stock, just use that. 

This is typically a summer dish so I'm using fresh tomatoes. If tomatoes aren't in season, use canned tomatoes.

https://mysweetgreek.com/2019/08/14/greek-lobster-pasta-astakomakaronada/

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