Squat lobster pesto pasta

Preparation time 10 min — Total time 25 min

Not really a lobster, and not that squat but definitely very tasty.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 75 g (2¾ oz almonds peeled
  • A large handful of basil, torn (about 30 g). Keep a few whole leaves for decoration.
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 40 squat lobster tails (already cooked in salted water, brought to the boil, cooled then peeled)
  • 50 g pecorino cheese grated, plus extra to serve
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt plus extra for cooking
  • 220 g spaghetti or linguine (gluten free optional and you can also use any kind of pasta available)

Squat lobster is what we use in the restaurant because it comes straight to us from the creel. However, if you can’t source it where you are, you can use prawns, crayfish or lobster — fresh or frozen!

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the almonds for a few minutes. Drain and set aside to cool, then pinch off the skins.
  2. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over medium–high heat. Keep them moving to prevent burning; they should be a light golden colour.
  3. In a food processor, blitz the almonds until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the basil and garlic and blitz a couple of times. Tip into a bowl.
  4. Mix in the squat lobsters, pecorino and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it and stir the pesto through. Serve, garnished with basil, with plenty of pecorino.

When making the dish for the accompanying photograph, I didn’t have enough fresh basil. So, I used fresh parsley to make up the difference, and it still tasted delicious!