Yesterday Mike and I watched the total eclipse and it was amazing. Words cannot express how beautiful it was. The moment totality arrived and we were able to take off our eclipse glasses and look at the moon in front of the sun, with its corona blazing was truly awe inspiring. It was like nothing I’ve never experienced – I felt it viscerally. It felt almost wrong, the way the world went from warm, bright and airy to chilly, dream-like, dark and dusky. It was equal parts incredibly beautiful and terrifying.
In fact, I cried – practically sobbed – while I repeated incoherently, “I didn’t know, I didn’t know it would look like this.” I clung to Mike’s hand while the two minutes of totality passed by in what seemed like seconds, the sky’s pale purple murkiness quickly giving way to blue sky brilliance as the moon moved out of the sun’s path. The second it was over, all I could think was, “again!” Even now, not even a day later, the whole thing feels like a dream. To be honest, I can’t wait for the next total eclipse, even if I’ll be waiting for a long time.
This creamy lobster pasta has nothing to do with the eclipse and more to do with our time on the East Coast, where lobster reigns supreme. We must’ve eaten over a dozen lobsters in the time we were there, many of them stuffed into lobster rolls, and some simply boiled in sea water, cracked open and dipped in butter. I kind of sort of went a little lobster crazy, because when I think of Atlantic Canada and New England, I think about lobsters.
It was kind of fun that we go to try both Canadian lobsters (from PEI and Nova Scotia) and Maine lobsters. The main difference, as far as I could tell, was that both Canadians and Americans thought their lobsters were best. The other difference was that in Maine we were able to try soft shell lobsters, which can only be had in Maine (or, I’m guessing, other New England states) because they don’t ship well.
Soft shell lobsters are lobsters that have just finished the process of molting, or growing a new shell. Their shells are typically a bit softer, hence the name, and they also have quite a bit more space between their meat and shells, so they can grow into themselves. There is a pretty big debate on which is better, hard or soft, but they’re essentially the same. I found that soft shell lobsters were a bit more tender, while hard shell ones were more dense. When you break into a soft shell, you do find a somewhat shrunken looking tail or claw, so if you’re going for a softie, it’s recommended that you go for a bigger lobster so you get more meat.
We made this pasta in Canada, with a hard shell lobster that we bought at a local supermarket. It was only $7.99 a pound and they cooked it for us! We got a freshly boiled lobster to go, took it home, broke it down and made this pasta. It’s kind of a take on a classic Chinese banquet dish, creamy lobster with noodles. Typically Chinese people don’t cook with cream, but this dish is kind of a thing, at least in Vancouver. The rich and creamy sauce goes perfectly with lobster and noodles. Super decadent and delicious!
Creamy Lobster Pasta Recipe
prep time: 10 minutes, active time: 15 minutes, total time: 25 minutes
- 4 ounces pasta of choice (I used linguini)
- 1 lobster, cooked
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Set a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat and cook your pasta of choice according to the package.
While the pasta is cooking, separate the lobster meat from the shell, reserving the shell. Roughly chop the meat and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the evaporated milk and add the shells, to flavor the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with the cold water. Pour into the sauce and simmer until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down and add the lobster and warm gently.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately add to the pan with the sauce. Toss everything together, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and enjoy immediately.