Lobster Pasta Bake

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 x 1kg lobster

500g macaroni

40g butter

1 small fennel, finely chopped

1 French shallot, finely chopped

30ml brandy

200g (1/2 a can) of Ardmona Rich and Thick Chopped Tomatoes

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

30g plain flour

600ml milk

60g smoked cheddar or Gruyere cheese grated

60g Parmesan, grated

Pinch of cayenne

3 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Lobster Pasta Bake

Method

Place the lobster in the freezer for 1 hour to humanely put to sleep.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the lobster for 10 minutes to par cook. Chill in a large bowl of iced water. Twist the head and tail of the lobster in opposite directions to detach. Using sharp kitchen scissors cut down each side of the belly being careful not to tear any of the flesh. Remove tail meat from the shell (reserving one of the tails for presentation). Slice the lobster tail into large chunks. Scoop the coral from the head and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Bring another pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta as per packet instructions.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add shallots and fennel with a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes to soften before adding brandy and reducing by two thirds. Now add the flour and cook off for 30 seconds before gradually whisking in the milk. Once thick, add the tomato and the reserved coral and continue cooking for a further minute. Remove from the heat and fold through the mustard, cheese, cayenne and herbs. Season to taste.

Fold the lobster meat through the sauce and then mix through the cooked pasta. Pour into a baking dish. Nestle in the head and tail at either end of the baking dish for presentation (optional) and sprinkle over some breadcrumbs that have been moistened with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top.