(Linguine con Aragosta)
In Italy, this dish is made with live crabs, but live lobsters are easier to find in the U.S. Author Eugenia Bone garnishes her pasta with lobster medallions, but we've incorporated the meat into the sauce.
2 1 1⁄4–1 1⁄2-lb. live Maine lobsters
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1⁄2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded,
1 1⁄2 cups tomato purée
1 1⁄2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
1⁄2 lb. dry linguine
1. Plunge a sharp knife into the top of each lobster's head just behind its eyes (this will kill it quickly), then set lobsters aside.
2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add parsley, garlic, and bell pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato purée, tomato paste, basil, and mint. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add lobsters, with belly sides down and tails flattened out, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring sauce and turning lobsters occasionally, until lobster shells turn bright orange and meat is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
3. Remove lobsters from sauce and set aside to cool. When lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack shells with a mallet or handle of a large knife, then remove all the meat from the shells, working over the tomato sauce to catch the lobster juices (this is a very messy job). Discard shells, cut lobster meat into bite-size chunks, and return to sauce.
4. Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, 7–12 minutes. Drain pasta, then add to the lobster and sauce. Toss and continue to cook for 3–5 minutes before serving.