Baked Pasta With Lobster

I was browsing through Pinterest a couple of weeks back, and came across a couple of photos of Lobster Mac & Cheese and for days afterward, I just couldn’t get the images off my mind. When it comes to pasta of any description, I am not one to ever turn it down, but I hesitated making this dish as it really wasn’t very Italian. I kept thinking about the many “pasta al forno” dishes I have made in the past, and finally decided to turn the Lobster Mac & Cheese I was craving into a more acceptable “Italian” version.

I chose small artisan pasta shells for my pasta, and exchanged the usual cheeses used for a couple of my favorite Italian cheeses, Taleggio and Fontina. Both of these cheeses melt beautifully, and worked perfectly in this dish. Taleggio is especially rich and creamy and has a very unique subtle flavor I love. We used lobster tails for the lobster portion of our pasta dish and poached them just until they were tender. This dish turned out even better than I had hoped for, and was so rich and creamy I found even a small portion satisfied my craving. This is one pasta dish I will definitely be making many times in the future as it would be a great, elegant dish for entertaining that can be prepared ahead of time.

So for those not familiar with Pinterest may be asking exactly what it is. Apart from being my latest addiction, it is (in my opinion) one of the best social media tools invented! If you already belong, you can Follow My Pins Here!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Baked Pasta With Lobster (Italian Style Lobster Mac & Cheese)

A creamy, rich pasta dish studded with chunks of tender lobster.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Small Dried Pasta Of Choice
  • 1 Quart 2% Milk
  • 1 Stick (8 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 12 Ounces Grated Fontina Cheese
  • 8 Ounces Cubed Taleggio Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Cooked Lobster Meat, Cut Into 1 Inch Dice

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Homemade Breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions minus 2 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta well.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter until frothy, and then the onion and cook until soft.
  5. Add the flour, whisking well, cooking for another couple of minutes.
  6. Slowly add the milk to the butter mixture, whisking continually.
  7. Cook over medium heat until thickened, whisking often.
  8. Add the cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and stir often over low heat until the cheese has completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
  9. Add the drained pasta and lobster to the sauce and mix well.
  10. Pour the pasta mixture into a buttered casserole dish large enough to hold it.
  11. Mix together the topping ingredients, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the pasta.
  12. Bake the pasta for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and hot and lightly golden brown on top.
  13. Cool 5 minutes, then serve in individual bowls.

Recipe adapted from Lobster Mac & Cheese by Ina Garten