Nick Nairn's homemade pasta noodles with lobster, spaghetti courgette, tomato and basil
Chef Nick Nairn creates a recipe to showcase Scotland during Whisky Month this May and Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015.
300g Italian 00 pasta flour
3 egg yolks
Fine semolina, to dust
8 live lobsters
4 tbsp. light olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 head garlic, cut in half
2 birds eye chillies
1 tsp. coriander seeds, roughly crushed
½ tsp. fennel seeds
2 star anise
Reserved lobster shells (see below)
100ml dry white wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
300ml double cream
4 firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly diced
2 tbsp. fresh shredded basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Switch on the machine and slowly add the eggs and egg yolks through the feeder tube until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Turn out on to a clean work surface and knead very well until the dough comes together. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for about half an hour.
2. Feed the pasta dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine several times until it begins to look shiny. Then continue to roll the pasta through the pasta machine, narrowing the setting by one notch each time, until the pasta dough is nice and thin - this is normally the second to last setting.
3. For noodles, change the pasta machine so that it has the correct attachment fitted to make thin noodles. Pass through the pasta dough and then shape the noodles into
rough nest shapes on a tray sprinkled with the semolina, which will help prevent the noodles from sticking.
4. To kill the lobsters, place each one on a board and cover it with foil and a cloth. Hold firmly down with one hand and, with the point of a sharp knife, pierce down to the board through the cross centre of the head.
5. Bring a large pan of water to a vigorous boil. Put the lobsters in and cook for about 4 minutes or until they have turned pink and are cooked through. To stop the cooking process plunge the lobsters into a basin of cold water.
6. When they are cool enough to handle, pull the claws from the bodies. Crack the claws and remove the meat.
7. With a large chef’s knife cut each lobster in half from the back, along the length of its body, and remove its intestinal tract. Remove the tail and slice it up along with the claw meat into bite-sized pieces.
8. Reserve the meat and give the shells a quick rinse under cold running water. Drain off any excess water.
9. Heat the half oil in a large pan and add the vegetables, garlic, chillies and spices.
10. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Meanwhile, heat the re rest of the oil in roasting tin directly on the hob and add the lobster shells, breaking them down as necessary.
11. Give them a good stir and allow them to start to release their flavour, then tip in the whisky and allow to flambé briefly. Pour in the wine to stop the flames and then add to the pan with the vegetables
12. Pour in just enough water to barely cover and add the canned tomatoes, then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until you have achieved a stock with a good strong flavour.
13. Strain the lobster stock through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and reduce until you have about 200ml in total. Pour in the cream and allow to simmer and slightly reduce. You should have about 600ml of lobster cream sauce in total.
14. When ready to serve, bring 4 litres of water to a rolling boil with three tablespoons of salt. Using a spirali (vegetable cutting machine) or a very sharp knife cut the courgettes into ribbons and blanch in a pan of boiling salted water for 30 seconds.
15. Drop the noodles into the pan of water that is at a rolling boil and return to the boil. Stir once and cook for 1-2 minutes until just tender (al dente). Heat a large pan and add the butter, tip in the reserved lobster meat and begin to sauté then pour in the lobster cream sauce. Quickly drain the noodles through a large colander, then fold into the lobster cream sauce with courgette ribbons, fresh tomatoes and basil.
16. Divide among wide-rimmed serving bowls to serve.