Yield: 2 servings
- 8 oz. cooked lobster meat, preferably from a Maine lobster (see below)
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- part of a batch of thin pasta (see below; use the rest for something else, like lasagna for instance)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Italian parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Combine the chopped lobster meat and mascarpone, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut six 3 ½ inch by five or six (depending on your pasta machine) inch pieces of blanched thin pasta dough, and fill each with a portion of the lobster, scooped in a line down the middle of the dough, then roll each into a cylinder shape. Place these sealed-side down in a bake-and-serve pan, so they don’t touch one another. Bake about 10 minutes in a 350°F. oven, until hot through. Add the cream, pouring it on the cannelloni, and sprinkle on the cheese, then turn the oven to broil. Broil until the tops of the cannelloni are lightly browned and the cream is bubbling all around it. If you don’t have a broiler, you can just turn the oven way up—to 450°F. Serve immediately, with a simple vegetable or salad.
How To Cook a Lobster
Bring a large pot with four inches of water in it to a boil. Add plenty of salt, so it tastes like sea water (a couple of tablespoons most likely). Plunge the live lobster in head-first, cover the pot, bring back to the boil, and then turn down to a rapid simmer. Cook for 20 minutes from the time the water boils again for a large lobster (over 2 lbs.); smaller ones will take a little less time, maybe 18 minutes.
Pasta Dough for Cannelloni
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 whole egg
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- a clean spray bottle with water in it
Prepare the dough: I just use the electric mixer with the paddle blade for this pasta. Place the ingredients in the mixer (not the spray bottle of course) and mix until fine crumbs form. Remove to a table and knead together for about 8 minutes, using brief sprays of water as needed to get the dough to stick together—you don’t want it too wet, but it’s not going to make good pasta if it’s bone dry, either. Once it’s “smooth as a baby’s bottom” divide into four pieces, and wrap in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes to ½ hour. Then, run each piece through the pasta machine, using the number one (wide) setting several times, folding in half each time, to further knead and smooth the dough. Once the dough pieces are all smooth, squared off and nice, start running each one time through each successive number, until it’s thin enough to see your fingers through. Number 6 is about right on my machine.
Have a pot of boiling water, some salt, a mesh scoop and tongs, a bowl of ice water, and a clean kitchen towel at hand. Salt the boiling water (like the ocean) and slide one long piece of pasta into it. Cook for 20 seconds, then remove with the scoop and tongs, straight into the ice bath. In a few seconds, pull it out and make sure it’s not sticking together anywhere, and lay it on the towel. Repeat with each piece. You’ll have plenty of noodles, ready to make cannelloni, lasagna etc. Use one or two of the pieces to get your half-dozen nice cannelloni squares, and complete the recipe.
Note: you can also set aside some of the pasta uncooked, and cut it into noodles , either with the machine or by hand—toss with a bit of semolina (or flour if you don’t have that) to keep from sticking together. Blanch them briefly just before combining with your favorite sauce, tossing the noodles with the sauce in the pan until they’ve absorbed some of the sauce flavors. Fresh, thin pasta like this requires very little boiling time so be careful not to overcook it. Half a minute is about all.