Crippled lobster is a term used by fishmongers in the U.K. to signify lobsters that have been injured in a fight and are missing a leg or a claw. They taste the same but sell at a cut price.
My father was very big on using crippled lobster for things like salads and pastas or anywhere at all where the lobster would be served in pieces instead of whole. “An injured lobster is more than up to the task—and one-third the price!” he liked to say. Sometimes I think that my father believed that he played a major role in promoting the popularity of those injured beasts. I learned a great deal about cooking from him. He was an amazing cook. He always chased down the best ingredients and kept things simple. He never said so, but this beautiful, simple dish must have come from his many years living in Rome. — J.G.
- 125 ml (1⁄2 cup) fruity extra-virgin olive oil (ideally Provençale)
- 5 shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 anchovies, minced to a paste
- 600 g fresh linguini or the like*
- 2 medium crippled lobsters, cooked, shelled and diced
- 1 bunch basil, picked and torn
- 1 lemon, juice only
- Sea salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, heat an étuvée (or extra-large sauté) pan on medium high. Add 2⁄3 of the oil and the shallots and sauté for 20 seconds (do not colour). Add the garlic and anchovy, sauté 10 seconds more and remove from heat. Cook pasta for 1 minute, drain, and add to the warm oil mixture on medium heat. Fold in lobster and basil. Pull from the heat, season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and tip onto your favourite (warm) pasta platter. Top with remaining oil and more pepper, and serve immediately.
*If using dried pasta, start cooking it before you begin to sauté the shallots.
A vivid and floral white wine, such as Treana Chardonnay from Paso Robles, California or a brilliant and luxurious white, Checkmate Artisanal Winery ‘Little Pawn’ Chardonnay.
For more info on these and other fine wines, go to Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits.