The kids have gone trick or treating, pictures have been taken, the doorbell has stopped ringing and the costumes have been packed away for another year.
Since this year Halloween is on a Friday—that means you can set aside Saturday for a grown-up dinner party with a Halloween theme.
With its black noodles, orange squash topping and startling red lobster claw, this impressive and intricately flavoured restaurant-style entrée courtesy of the President’s Choice black label brand will dazzle the most discerning of your family and friends. It is made with fresh lobster, Pernod liqueur and Nero di Seppia Conchiglie Pasta.
This is a President’s Choice recipe that I found online and thought would be fun to try for a pre-Halloween dinner last evening. Even though the recipe may seem a little daunting, it was actually quite easy to make. I made the sauce and prepared the lobster ahead of time, so when guests arrived, it was easy to just cook up the pasta and serve this impressive dish.
Even though it has a Halloween theme, with its jet black pasta and bright orange sauce, it would actually make a very impressive dish at any time of the year!
I made a few adjustments to the original recipe that you see below. I wasn’t able to find the Nero Di Seppia Conchiglie Pasta in our store, but I found a Nero Di Seppia Spaghetti which worked perfectly. I also halved the recipe.
I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking the lobster myself so I substituted a can of frozen lobster meat (this way I pretend it isn’t real…lol). I know this may seem sacrilegious, but I cannot bring myself to put those live lobsters in a pot of boiling water. I also substituted the Pernod for a dry white wine, I used a Sauvignon Blanc.
The dinner was a huge hit, everyone loved the contrast between the black pasta (which is made with Cuttle Fish ink) and the gorgeous orange sauce and the dinner tasted DELICIOUS!
Here’s what I did:
Gather all of your ingredients so you don’t need to make a mad dash to the grocery store!
Saute onions until translucent, add garlic, cook for another minute or so and add wine.
Add your squash and broth and cook until squash is tender.
Stir in tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes longer.
Using an immersion blender, purée until almost smooth.
Stir in cream, Parmigiano, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook lobster for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
I was fascinated with the inky black colour of this pasta!
I was very proud of the result, I think it looks fabulous!
- 2 live lobsters, about 1 kg (I cannot bear to kill the lobsters so I used canned)
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped white onions
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) Pernod
- 2-¼ cups (550 mL) finely diced butternut squash
- 1 pkg (900 mL) Chicken Broth
- 1 jar (540 mL) SAN MARZANO TOMATOES WITH BASIL LEAF
- ⅓ cup (75 mL) 35% whipping cream
- ¾ cup (175 mL) finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tsp (10 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pkg (500 g) NERO DI SEPPIA CONCHIGLIE PASTA
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) UNSALTED CULTURED BUTTER
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh tarragon leaves or torn basil leaves
- Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add lobsters; cover and return to a boil. Cook for 7 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large bowl three-quarters filled with ice cubes and water.
- Let stand until cool enough to handle. Crack lobsters open; remove meat from front legs and claws, and tails. Cut meat crosswise into medallions. Discard shells or reserve for making stock.
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil over medium heat; cook onions for 4 to 6 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add ¼ cup (50 mL) of the Pernod; simmer until evaporated.
- Stir in squash and broth; partially cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, partially covered, for 15 to 17 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a knife.
- Stir in tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes longer. Using an immersion blender, purée until almost smooth. Stir in cream, Parmigiano, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 9 to 11 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Transfer to large serving platter.
- In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook lobster for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
- Add remaining 4 tsp (20 mL) Pernod; simmer until evaporated.
- Pour sauce over pasta; arrange lobster over top. Sprinkle with tarragon.
- (If there is too much sauce to pour over pasta on a platter, pour most on pasta and save the rest to pass at the table.)
If you have any questions at all, just let me know and I will do my very best to answer them.