The Good News Cafe, Woodbury CT;
Author, The Buffet Book (Viking Penguin 1997)
Adult Baked Macaroni
"I do not believe there is one food that is an aphrodisiac, but
some dishes can be so comforting that they make you more relaxed
and in a more loving mood."
Serves 10 as a buffet.
To cook the lobster fill an 8-10 quart pot three-fourths full with
water. Add the thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Squeeze
in the juice of the lemons, then drop them in the pot. Cover and bring
to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the lobsters and cook 12 to
15 minutes. Drain the lobsters in a colander, cover with ice, and
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 lemons cut in half
- 4 1 1/2 pound live lobsters, preferably from Maine
- Handful of coarse salt
- 2 1/2 pounds dried penne
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups provolone cheese (imported, grated)
- 1 pound fresh spinach, washed, dried, and chopped
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: 1 to 2 medium truffles (black or white), slivered
When the lobster is cool enough to handle, pull the tail from
the body and remove the claws. Discard the body, or reserve for
use in a sauce or stock. Cut the shell from the tail using a knife
or scissors and remove the meat. With the blunt end of a knife chop
off the tips of the claws as close to the ends as possible (this
will help release the meat from the claws). Crack the claws in the
center, break open, and carefully remove the claw meat without breaking
apart. Meat from the larger claws will have a piece of cartilage
in it; this can be pulled out from the area where the claw fingers
meet. Cut the tail meat into 1/2 inch slices. Leave the claws whole
to use as a garnish. Set the lobster meat aside until ready to assemble
the pasta dish.
To cook the pasta, fill a 6 to 8 quart pot with water, add salt,
cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and stir.
Cook the pasta for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente.
Pour into a colander to drain. Do not rinse the pasta; just toss
it to remove any excess water. Sprinkle the oil over the pasta and
toss with a large chef's fork. Pour the pasta onto a sheet tray
or shallow dish to cool (if it looks too sticky, sprinkle some more
oil on at this point). Let the pasta cool to room temperature.
When the pasta is cooled pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss
the cooled pasta in a bowl with the Parmesan and provolone cheese,
spinach, heavy cream, and lobster meat (except claws). Season with
salt and pepper. Transfer to a large round, oval, or oblong baking
dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until bubbling hot.
Garnish with the lobster claws and truffle slivers (if using).