Pasta alla Gricia with Maine Lobster

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By: Evan Kalman, sponsored by the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl)
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pecorino romano
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ lb cooked, Maine Lobster tail meat, cooked, removed from the shell, and chopped
  • Flakey sea salt

Directions

In a cast-iron pan or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-low. Cook the guanciale on until crispy, and most of the fat is rendered out, about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a paper towel. Leave the fat in the pan.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 3-5 minutes less than instructed in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, removing water as necessary until it covers the pasta by 1-inch. This will concentrate the starch in the cooking liquid and create a silky sauce. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

In a small bowl, stir the cheese with 2 Tbsp of cooking liquid. It should form into a creamy paste.

Heat the skillet with the fat over medium-high heat. Add the black pepper and let bloom, about 1 minute. Add a ladle of the reserved cooking liquid and swirl to emulsify. Add the pasta with 1 cup more of the cooking liquid, tossing often until a thick glossy sauce forms, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cheese paste and lobster, and toss vigorously.

The heat should melt the cheese and combine with the fat to form a silky sauce. Adjust the consistency with more cooking liquid as necessary.

Plate and sprinkle with additional cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

  1. In a cast-iron pan or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-low. Cook the guanciale on until crispy, and most of the fat is rendered out, about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a paper towel. Leave the fat in the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 3-5 minutes less than instructed in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, removing water as necessary until it covers the pasta by 1-inch. This will concentrate the starch in the cooking liquid and create a silky sauce. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the cheese with 2 Tbsp of cooking liquid. It should form into a creamy paste.
  4. Heat the skillet with the fat over medium-high heat. Add the black pepper and let bloom, about 1 minute. Add a ladle of the reserved cooking liquid and swirl to emulsify. Add the pasta with 1 cup more of the cooking liquid, tossing often until a thick glossy sauce forms, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cheese paste and lobster, and toss vigorously. The heat should melt the cheese and combine with the fat to form a silky sauce. Adjust the consistency with more cooking liquid as necessary. Plate and sprinkle with additional cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.