Have I mentioned yet that Giada De Laurentiis is my hero? If I could, I would make just about every recipe she's created. At least the ones that don't call for olives. I'm not a huge fan of them.
So as I was watching Giada at Home last week, I saw her making an appetizer called Bruschetta with Shrimp, Tarragon and Arugula. I was intrigued by the idea and of course by the images of the resulting food. Now, my roommate and I don't really host many events, which means that we don't actually need to create many appetizers. All the same, I vowed that this limitation would not stop me from recreating this dish for myself. I'd just have to tweak it a bit.
First of all, since this recipe is already tomato based, I decided that instead of slathering it on pieces of toasted bread as an appetizer, I could toss it with some cooked pasta as a sauce.
Secondly, I have done some experimentation over the past year or so and I realize that I'm not a great fan of shrimp. I always expect to be blown away by it, but I'm typically left feeling let down. Sorry to all you shrimp lovers out there, but it has to be cut out of this recipe. The most decadent seafood in my opinion is lobster. I eat a lot of it at home in the Bahamas, but I'd never actually made it myself before. I guess there's no time like the present...
Lobster Arugula Sauce
adapted from recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
- ~1 lb lobster meat*
- Old Bay seasoning
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and black pepper
- 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 packed cup arugula, chopped
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Boil the Lobster:
* You can use live lobster or frozen lobster for this dish. I chose to use frozen lobster tails which I thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with a clove of garlic, a few dashes of Old Bay seasoning, and a generous pinch of salt.
2) Drop the lobsters in the water. (I boiled my lobsters for approximately 6 minutes, but I would recommend boiling for only 4-5 minutes.)
3) Use tongs to remove the lobsters from the water and let cool for a few minutes.
4) Pull the lobster meat out of the shell, taking care not to get any of the shell stuck in the meat.
5) Chop the meat into 1/2 inch pieces.
Make the Sauce:
1) In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
2) Add the shallots and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3) Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4) Cook over medium-high heat until the tomatoes are soft, about 8 minutes.
5) Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits that may be clinging to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 minutes.
6) Stir in the stock and cook for another 2 minutes.
7) Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, oregano, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and lobster**.
8) Stir until the mixture is creamy, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
9) Serve over a bowl of pasta.
**Since I had cooked my lobster all the way through by accident, I didn't actually add the lobster to the sauce because I didn't want to overcook it. If I had cooked the lobster for less time, then I would have tossed it in to the sauce when the sauce came off the heat.
I layered this sauce over fresh spinach pasta and got down to the best part of having this blog: the taste test. The best word to describe this dish is "obscene". That's a positive adjective, by the way. The first thing that hits your senses is the smell of the fresh herbs. The oregano provides a spicy and slightly smoky aroma. Because the sauce isn't pureed, there are small chunks of meaty tomatoes that are slightly sweet and slightly tart. The lobster meat is smooth and creamy, which works quite well with the creamy mascarpone cheese that I used to finish the dish. Pure heaven.
Now excuse me while I go back for seconds...