Try James Martin’s decadent lobster dish with homemade pasta if you’re looking for a dish that will impress.
2 cooked lobsters
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tomato purée
75ml/3fl oz white wine
75ml/3fl oz brandy
500ml/17fl oz chicken stock
75ml/3fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded, diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
For the linguine, season the flour with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend the flour and eggs in a food processor until the mixture forms small crumbs. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Wrap the pasta dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
To make the linguine, weigh out about 300g/11oz of the pasta dough (the remaining pasta dough can be stored in the fridge for up three days or in the freezer for up to three months). Lightly flour a clean work surface and work the rested dough into a rough rectangle shape using your fingers.
Flour the pasta machine. Starting at the lowest (widest) setting, feed the dough through the machine, turning the handle with one hand and holding the dough as it comes through the machine with the other. Change the setting on the pasta machine to the next-widest setting, flour it again and feed the pasta sheet through the machine again, as before.
Repeat this process 3-4 more times, flouring the machine and changing the setting down each time, until the pasta is thin and smooth.
Once the pasta sheets have reached the ideal thickness, trim the edges slightly. Attach the cutting attachment to the pasta machine, flouring it well. Run each sheet of dough through the machine once again, cutting it into linguine. Dust the linguine well with flour and place onto a plate. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.
For the lobster sauce, cut the lobsters in half lengthways and remove the meat. Chop all of the meat except the claw meat into small pieces. Reserve the claw meat and lobster shells.
Heat half of the butter in a frying pan until foaming, add the onion, carrot and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.
Add the reserved lobster shells, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and cook for a further minute, stirring well.
Add the white wine and brandy to the pan. Carefully set the alcohol alight with a match and allow the flames to flare up and die down. (CAUTION: make sure there are no flammable materials above the pan when flaming and keep the pan away from your face and hair.)
Add the chicken stock, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced and thickened.
Set the sauce mixture aside to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blend to a purée. (You may need to do this in batches.)
Pass the puréed sauce through a sieve into a clean saucepan and whisk in the cream. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.
Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the reserved lobster claw meat for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes, or until al dente.
Drain the linguine and return it to the saucepan. Add the chopped lobster meat, diced tomatoes and chervil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, pile the linguine into serving bowls and top with one lobster claw. Ladle the lobster sauce around and over the pasta.
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James is joined by world-class chefs Claude Bosi, Daniel Clifford and Elena Arzak.
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