August 17, 2014
There are all forms of entertaining. Of course there are the big parties, dinners and events. There are also smaller and more intimate settings when you have another couple over or it’s a special dinner just for the two of you. You plan, you do the shopping, the preparation and then hope everyone oohs and ahhs. It’s validation for the work and time you put into it and you go to sleep thinking everything was worth all the effort. But have you ever thought of putting that same effort into a dinner for one?
What do people do when they eat alone? I know when I was single and just starting out, dinner usually consisted of a bowl of cereal or a bag of popcorn. I never thought of making an effort for myself. I’m going to assume that a lot of single people have the same way of looking at things as I do. We just do whatever is the easiest.
Tonight however, I changed my mind about things. My husband was going to play cards with the guys and I was going to be alone for the evening. In the past I would have eaten something I could just grab. Not that there is anything wrong with a bowl of cereal or grabbing what ever is in the refrigerator at the moment, but I decided with the lifestyle changes we are making in our home I should make the effort and do the same for myself as I would anyone else that would be eating dinner in my home. I was going to make myself a real dinner.
I was inspired by a recipe in Bon Appétit that sounded so good, but my husband wasn’t as excited about this meal as I was. It calls for adding lobster to pasta. What was I thinking? Doing something with it other than boil it and dip it in butter? It was the perfect opportunity to try this…and I’m so glad I did! Not only was this very tasty, it was also relatively easy. The lobster was still tender and sweet with a nice spicy complement from the pasta and sauce.
You could of course do this meal for your guests and still get the oohs and ahhs. They won’t know how easy it was or that most of it could be done in advance. Or you could wait until that one night when you’re sitting all alone and don’t want a bag of popcorn for dinner. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your own company. It’s worth the oohs and ahhs you’re going to give yourself.
Spicy Lobster Pasta
- 7 small plum tomatoes, cut in halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces spaghetti
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- I cup Sun Gold tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound picked cooked lobster meat or cooked large shrimp
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Set aside.
- Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally for time noted. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallot and red pepper flakes, stirring often until shallot is softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add Sun Gold tomatoes and reserved roasted tomatoes and stir often until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add lobster meat to skillet and toss to coat. Add pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing constantly and adding more reserved pasta water until it thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
- Serve pasta topped with lemon zest and lemon wedges on the side.