Lunchbreak: Chef Tony Mantuano makes paccheri with lobster

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Lemon: Chicago
August 11
6:30 p.m.
Art Institute of Chicago
South Garden

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Paccheri with Lobster

Two 1 1/2 pound lobsters
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
4 medium fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 pound paccheri pasta
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 basil leaves

Note: Any seafood store that sells live lobsters will steam them for you. Ask them to remove the shells, leaving the meat as intact as possible, especially the claw meat. Paccheri are short wide tubes traditionally from Naples in Campania.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, generally 2 minutes less than what the box advises. Before draining the pasta reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta. Meanwhile, start the sauce by heating a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. After a minute, add the olive oil. After another minute, add the garlic and cook until lightly brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil leaves. Reduce the heat and keep warm. Add the lobster pieces to the sauce. Cook for a minute then add the pasta and the pasta water to the sauté pan and cook over low heat for 2 minutes to allow the pasta to marry with the sauce. The pasta should be firm to the bite. Divide among 4 warmed plates being sure that everyone gets a lobster claw. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Tony Mantuano

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