Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada)

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Greek Lobster Pasta (Astakomakaronada) is the perfect island 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, especially 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.

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