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Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe

Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe

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Maryse Chevriere

Lobster Fra Diavolo

This spicy tomato sauce with chunks of lobster is one of my favorite dishes. You can also easily make this recipe with shrimp, just cook them for a few minutes longer in the sauce.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Pasta Dishes.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced or grated with a Microplane
  • Two 28-ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried red chile flakes
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • One 1 ½ pound lobster, cooked and meat removed
  • 3-4 fresh parsley sprigs, chopped, for garnish


In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure that the garlic does not brown. Add the tomatoes and turn the heat to high. Allow to soften, then break them up with a spoon or potato masher. Add the oregano, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of the chile flakes (depending on how spicy you like it) and stir.

When the sauce begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until thickened. Meanwhile, begin to boil the well-salted water for the pasta. (This would be a good time to pick out the lobster meat if you haven't already. Reserve any of the juices that come out for later because that will add a ton of flavor to the dish.)

Cook the pasta until firm to the bite, and then drain. When the pasta and sauce are ready, add the lobster meat to the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes, until warmed. In a serving bowl, combine the pasta and sauce and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe Sets the Standard

Lobster Fra Diavolo, the dish by which all other seafood dishes are judged! Be forewarned, preparing this seafood feast it not for the feint of heart. But the wonderful culinary rewards are worth it.

To introduce our dish, you should know that “Diavolo” is Italian for devil. As a culinary term it is used to describe a tomato based sauce that is liberally spiced, with “Fra Diavolo” the Italian term for brother devil: a spicy sauce prepared with linguine and fresh seafood.

Maine Lobster Fra Diavolo

Lobster Fra Diavolo

This first part might not be pleasant, but it’ll be over quickly: Working with 1 lobster at a time, place on a cutting board, belly side down, with head facing you (freezing them 8–10 minutes first will render them fairly immobile). Insert a chef’s knife where the tail meets the head, and swiftly bisect head lengthwise in one fell swoop (leave tail intact). Using the back of a cleaver or a lobster cracker, crack each claw on all sides. Twist off tails and cut in half through shells lengthwise. Remove any tomalley or eggs (reserve if you like). Twist off knuckles and claws, then separate knuckles from claws using cleaver.

Heat 1/3 cup oil in a wide Dutch oven or heavy pot that’s large enough to hold pasta over medium-high. Season lobsters with salt and, working in separate batches and being careful not to overcrowd pot, sear lobster pieces, turning occasionally and adding more oil if pot looks dry, until shells are bright red, about 4 minutes for knuckles, claws, and tails about 6 minutes for heads. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet let cool slightly. Remove pot from heat and add brandy. Return to heat and cook, scraping up browned bits, until smell of alcohol is almost gone, about 2 minutes. Transfer brandy mixture to a small bowl. Pick lobster meat from knuckles and claws discard shells. Place in an airtight container with tails cover and chill until ready to use. Set heads aside. Wipe out pot and reserve.

Working in batches, pulse onions, carrots, and fennel separately in a food processor until finely chopped transfer vegetables to a large bowl after each is chopped. Heat remaining 1/3 cup oil in reserved pot over medium-high. Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, chiles, and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, smashing garlic with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and reserved lobster heads bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée to pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. Discard lobster heads.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 3 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add butter, chilled lobster meat, lobster tails, pasta, reserved brandy mixture, and 2 cups pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook, tossing to combine and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Because you’re working with a large amount of pasta and sauce, this will take effort—toss using a long sturdy spoon in each hand, and make sure to get to the bottom of pot as you go. Add parsley and lemon juice, then transfer pasta to a platter, arranging lobster tails on top. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Do Ahead
Lobsters can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Lobster Fra Diavolo

Lobster Fra Diavolo – With all the lobster recipes out there, lobster fra diavolo is quite possibly my favorite. Rich succulent lobster served over a bed of pasta bathed in spicy fra diavolo sauce. Sheer perfection.

Lobster recipes can be daunting, I get it.

You take awkwardly flailing crustaceans home and stare them in the eyes as you dunk them into boiling water. It’s a serious culinary commitment.

But what makes a more decadent and romantic Valentines Day dinner than a steaming ruby red lobster sitting on a plate? Absolutely nothing.

Why not consider giving Lobster Fra Diavolo a try this Valentines Day… for your Sugarloaf, or whatever you call him/her.

A few years ago Lt. Dan and I took a week long vacation (without children) to the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis. We spent most of our days laying on the beach or hiking, and spent our evenings trying to hunt down the best local seafood joints.

Our most memorable meal was at an open-air bar, right on the water. Fishermen brought in freshly caught lobsters and we watched as the “chefs” standing behind an open grill, aggressively whacked the lobsters in half and placed them on the flames. They were then slathered in garlic butter and served sizzling hot.

I had never tasted lobster so good in all my life.

So today I thought I’d combine my two favorite lobster recipes, fresh grilled lobster and comforting Lobster Fra Diavolo for a magnificent Valentine feast for two.

Lobster Fra Diavolo is the perfect way to enjoy lobster, in my opinion. On one hand you have tender sweet lobster meat with a slight smoky quality from the grill. Then you have piles of pasta bathed in a rich spicy fra diavolo sauce, kissed with lobster juices and cognac.

Fra Diavolo means “Brother Devil” in italian, so you can guess, it’s meant to be spicy. But of course you can adjust the spice to your liking.

I also add sweet fennel and a touch of cream to the sauce. I feel it balances out the heat and offers an extra bit of luxury to this dish.

Start by placing the live lobsters in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This numbs the lobsters, making the process more humane and bearable for all involved. Then quickly and forcefully cut the lobsters right down the center from head to tail. The hard part is officially over.

Slather the insides of the lobsters with garlic butter, salt and pepper. Then place the lobsters on a hot grill, shell side down.

Meanwhile, saute onions, garlic and fennel until soft and tender. Add the cognac, tomatoes, clam juice, and crushed red pepper until thick and bubbly.

Pick the lobster meat out of one whole lobster, leaving the other 2 halves intact. Add the cream, lobster juices, and meat to the sauce and toss in the al dente pasta. Place the remaining lobster halves on serving plates. Then slather them with more garlic butter. Finally pile the pasta high on top of the two plated lobsters and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

These lobster recipes come together so perfectly, you would think all lobsters should be grilled and mixed into fra diavolo.

  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons flour for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
  • 3 small steamed lobster tails
  • 1 lb spaghetti or linguine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Canola oil for searing shrimp
  • 1 15 oz can finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 -3 teaspoons crushed red pepper (adjust for more or less heat)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch basil

Heat butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper and sauté for several minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add brandy, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover, adding additional water if necessary as sauce cooks for about 1 hour. In a separate heavy bottom cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan, heat vegetable oil on medium high. Toss cleaned shrimp with Old Bay and dust with flour. Once oil is hot, place shrimp in pan, sautéing in batches if needed and searing for 3-4 minutes a side. Prepare pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain pasta and mix in about a cup of sauce to coat your pasta. To serve, place pasta in bowl, Ladle with additional sauce and top with seared shrimp and steamed lobster. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!

What do you do when you answer your door to find two live lobsters on your doorstep? Grab a lemon for self-defense?

By Meg Jones - wife, mother,
professional, contributor

Now I’ve had all sorts of gourmet items sent to me during the holidays including fresh pears, steaks, sauces but never anything trying to escape. So when the Fed Ex guy arrived with a Styrofoam box filled with dry ice and a couple of live lobsters nested on a bed of seaweed, what did I do?

Pulled out my biggest cooking pot and started to boil water.

It turns out my wife has a friend in New York who is doing quite well and knows how much I love to cook so she sent us these lobsters with a couple of steaks. It was a wonderful gift but created somewhat of a dilemma.

We already had plans for dinner that night but you can’t expect these live crustaceans to hang out for a day or two until we were ready to serve them.

According to the instructions that came in the Styrofoam box, we had to cook them the day they arrived. So I boiled them in my big stock pot, cooled them outside on the porch, removed all that firm but tender meat and made Lobster Fra Diavolo the next night.

It’s the first time I made this dish and it is easy to prepare and a great use for lobster. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the succulent taste of lobster all by itself, but sometimes I think of it more as a conduit for eating melted butter. This is a great recipe for combining many flavors and textures.

If a couple of live lobsters don’t show up at your doorstep, you can typically find fresh or frozen lobster tails at the local supermarkets. This meal was a real treat and would be perfect during the holidays.

Lobsters make great gifts to the holidays, wedding, birthdays or even just to say thank you.

Lobster Fra Diavolo History

At first I thought this was a “classic” Italian dish from Naples, Italy, but after a little research, I learned it is not.

According to the research I found online, Lobster Fr Diavolo most likely does not come from Italy but was created in New York. Where in New York, well, some think Long Island, others Little Italy.

I read in the New York Times, that “Giuliano Bugialli, another cookbook author and cooking teacher, said it was invented in New York.

“We don’t even have American lobsters in Italy,” he added. “And a heavy tomato sauce with hot peppers, seafood and pasta all in one dish is not Italian cooking. ”

No matter where it comes from, I like it as does my family and you will find it on menus in many Italian restaurants. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

Recipe Summary

  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups canned whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 (16 ounce) package linguine
  • ½ pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ pound bay scallops
  • ½ pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook linguine at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in shrimp and scallops. Cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp, scallops, mussels, and parsley into tomato mixture. Cook until sauce begins to bubble and mussels open, about 7 minutes. Pour sauce over linguine and serve.

Giada's Lobster Linguine

I went looking for a recipe that used cooked lobster and not a lot of it. I found this Lobster Fra Diavolo in Giada's Everyday Pasta. It called for two cooked lobster tails. Now, I'm sure her lobster tails were the normal size, not the teeny tiny ones that I got.

But you know what? Even with my tiny amount of lobster this was good. It felt special and I loved how easy it was! Anytime I can have a pasta dinner on the table in about 30 minutes, I am a happy camper!

If you picked up extra lobster tails, like I did, try this Lobster Pasta with Corn, Pancetta and Creme Fraiche - so good!


  • Three 1 ¼ to 1 ½-pound live lobsters (I recommend Maine lobsters)
  • Salt for the pasta pot
  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil, or as needed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Two 35-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), with their liquid, passed through a vegetable mill or crushed by hand
  • 8 whole dried peperoncino or diavollilo hot red peppers, or 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type dried on the branch, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


Recipe: Lobster fra diavolo

Although this dish has all the makings of an Italian dish, everything I have read points to it being an Italian-American invention, most likely conceived in New York. In Italy, they do make a sauce with lobsters with which they dress pasta and risotto, but it is in the form of brodetto, seafood stew -- lighter than the Italian-American fra diavolo, made with onions instead of garlic, and without oregano. Here I give you a delicious version that is a combination of both.

All-purpose flour, for dredging the lobster

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Two 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand

½ to 1 teaspoon peperoncino flakes

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot

½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed, shredded

1. To prepare the lobsters: Use a large chef's knife. If you wish, stun the lobsters a bit by putting them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Put the top of your chef's knife on the lobster's head, about 2 inches or so back from the eyes. Push the knife straight down, then through to split between the eyes. Hold the lobster with towel where the claws meet the body, and twist to remove the claws. Twist or break the claws for the knuckles and crack both with back of the knife to make it easier to open when serving. Twist walking legs off the body. Split the lobster body and tail in half lengthwise, clean body cavity, leaving in the tomalley (the green digestive part of the lobster). Cut the tail from the body.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. After you have simmered the sauce with the lobster for 10 minutes, slip the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook until al dente.

3. Spread the flour on a rimmed baking sheet. Dredge the cut-side pieces of lobster body and tail (but not the claw pieces or walking legs) in the flour, tapping off the excess. Pour the vegetable oil into a large Dutch oven, and set over medium-high heat. Slip the body and tail meat into the pot, cut side down, and cook just to seal the meat, about a minute or so. Remove the meat to a plate. Add the claw pieces, and cook just until they begin to change color, about a minute. Remove the claws to the plate.

4. Pour off the vegetable oil, return the pot to medium heat, and pour in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, and simmer to soften the onions, another 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to let the water boil away, and clear a space in the pan to make a clear dry spot. Plop in the tomato paste, let sizzle a minute or two, then stir the tomato paste into the onions. Add the crushed tomatoes, and slosh out the cans with 2 cups of the pasta cooking water, adding those to the pot as well. Bring the sauce to a rapid boil, and stir in the peperoncino and salt. Add all of the lobster except for the tail pieces, and let simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the tail piece, and simmer until the meat is just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

5. When the sauce is ready, transfer about half of the sauce (without the lobster) to a large skillet, and bring to a simmer add the cooked and drained pasta. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with the shredded basil. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls, with the extra sauce and the lobster-tail pieces over top.

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Watch the video: Lobster in tomato sauce. Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe. how to make Spaghetti with Lobster (May 2022).