Lobster Shrimp Pasta with Maker’s Mark®
by Antonia Lofaso, Executive Chef and Top Chef Masters Finalist
We fell in love with this luxurious pasta dish. Perfect for special occasions, or if you’re feeling self indulgent. Who knew bourbon and shellfish could team up so well to make your eyes roll in the back of your head and your mouth say “Yum!”
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 Hours
2-1/4 cups Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
2 live lobsters, 1-1/2 pounds each
1 pound shrimp in shell, u16-20, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion, small dice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1/2 cup carrot, small dice
1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
1 cup leeks, white only, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley stems, rough chopped
4 sprigs tarragon
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cream
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup Parmigiano cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup tarragon leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pound cooked fresh pappardelle pasta
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil (at least 2–3 gallons). Hold the lobsters right side up firmly on the cutting board with one hand on the tail end. Using the tip of your knife, kill the lobsters by piercing through the shell right behind the eyes; take the knife's point and aim for the place an inch or an inch and a half from between the eyes toward the tail. The blade of the knife should be facing away from your hand that is holding the tail. Press the point of the knife into the head at that point until the point of the knife goes all the way through the lobster’s head to the cutting board, then bring the blade down between the eyes to finish the cut of the head.
- Separate the arms/claws from the body and the tail from the body by twisting gently until they break off. Reserve the lobster body. Poach the tails in the boiling water for 2 minutes, and the arms/claws for 5 minutes, removing the parts to an ice bath to cool down quickly.
- Remove the half-cooked meat from the shells completely and reserve the shells. Cut the lobster meat into large chunks, leaving the claws whole. Set the lobster meat aside in the refrigerator until needed. Clean the lobster bodies, by separating the top and bottom. Remove the gills of the lobster, and reserve the liver (tamale), roe and any inner meat from the body. Combine the raw shells of the lobster with the cooked shells in a large bowl, as well as the tamale. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel, leeks, minced garlic, parsley stems and tarragon sprigs, until soft and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat and cook for 1 minute more.
- At this point add the lobster shells and shrimp shells to the pot. Using a meat mallet or small sauté pan, crush the lobster shells in the pot, breaking them up. Stir to mix well with the vegetables.
- Add 2 cups of the Maker’s Mark® Bourbon and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring the stock up to a boil and then reduce to a steady simmer. Cook the stock for 30 minutes until well flavored. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pot and reduce over medium heat until there are 2 cups of stock left.
- To make the pasta sauce, heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sliced garlic and cook until translucent and soft, about 4 minutes. Deglaze with 1/4 cup of Maker’s Mark® Bourbon. Add the lobster stock and cream and reduce by 25%.
- Add the raw shrimp to the sauce and heat, turning, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes each side. Add the cherry tomato halves and then the lobster meat. Simmer another 4 minutes until lobster is fully cooked.
- Fold in the grated Parmigiano cheese to thicken the sauce and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the freshly cooked pappardelle. Stir in the tarragon leaves and torn basil. Sauté for 1–2 minutes for the flavors to bind with the pasta. Serve immediately.