Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Spaghetti with Lobster and Mussels

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Prep: 1 hr 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 12 servings as part of an Ital
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1 cup dry white wine

1 cup water

2 (1 1/2 pound) live lobsters

2 pounds spaghetti

6 cups spicy tomato sauce (recipe follows)

1 pound mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards pulled off

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (wash and dry before mincing)


3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes

2 (28 to 32-ounce) cans tomatoes, including juice, pureed course in a blender in 2 batches

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled


  1. In a large kettle bring wine and water to a boil. Add lobsters and cook covered for 3 minutes (they will be partially cooked). Transfer lobsters with tongs to a large bowl and boil cooking liquid until reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  2. Twist off claws and with the flat side of a heavy knife crack claws on one side. Cut off tails and cut each tail crosswise into 4 pieces, cutting through shell and discarding dark intestinal vein. Halve body sections and discard head sacs. Reserve tomalley and any row if desired. Lobsters can be prepared up to this point 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.
  3. In a six quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a boil for spaghetti.
  4. In a five quart kettle bring tomato sauce, lobster cooking liquid, and reserved tomalley and roe if using, to a simmer, whisking. Add claws and bodies and simmer covered for 5 minutes or until the claw meat is just cooked through. Transfer claws with tongs to a large bowl and keep warm, covered.
  5. Add tail pieces to the sauce and simmer, covered, 3 to 4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer tail pieces to a bowl and keep warm, covered. Remove and discard lobster bodies.
  6. Add mussels to sauce and simmer, covered, 3 to 8 minutes, checking every minute or so and transferring as opened with tongs into a bowl. Keep mussels warm, covered (discard any mussels that have not opened after 8 minutes). Season sauce with salt and pepper and keep warm, covered.
  7. While seafood is cooking, cook spaghetti in boiling water until al dente, and drain in a colander. Add spaghetti, lobster, and mussels to sauce and heat over moderate heat until heated through, stirring and tossing mixture until spaghetti is coated well with sauce


  1. In a heavy 5 quart saucepan cook garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and add onion and red pepper flakes. Cook mixture, stirring until onion is softened and add tomato puree, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, 35 minutes or until thickened slightly. Sauce may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.
  2. Yield: 6 cups