Valentine’s Day was BUSY here at the store. I can definitely vouch for the theory that seafood is a popular menu choice for Valentine’s Day meals! After working a long and busy day, I was looking forward to a peaceful Valentine’s meal at home instead of battling the crowds and attempting to dine out.
I have been wanting to try this recipe for Creamy Lobster Pappardelle for quite some time now. Pappardelle is one of my favorite pasta shapes and this recipe really could not be any more simple.
I followed the recipe ALMOST exactly. I used four 3.5-ounce South African Lobster tails instead of the three 5-ounce American lobster tails it called for. I prefer their mild, sweet flavor and tender texture over that of the Maine tails. You really could use any type of lobster that is available to you.
The only other change I made was a slight increase in the liquid; I increased the chicken stock to 1 cup. Of course, you could use seafood stock or vegetable stock if chicken isn’t your thing! I used fresh pasta (I never miss a chance to make fresh pasta) and wanted it to finish cooking in the sauce, so I knew I would need a little extra liquid. My husband was kind enough to remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop it into bite-sized pieces while I tended to the sauce. A little Valentine’s Day teamwork in the kitchen for the win!
The verdict? We loved it!! A little homemade herb roll on the side and a small salad and it was a complete meal. This recipe really comes together in under 30 minutes and would make ANY day feel like a special occasion.
So we had “Snapper Tips” in the case at work last week. They were the little tail pieces that were trimmed off of some gorgeous Queen Snapper fillets. While it might not be a complete fillet to perch itself in the center of my plate, I decided that it would be perfect over pasta.
A bag of fresh baby spinach in the fridge sparked the idea for a big batch of spinach pasta. I used a recipe from Chasing Delicious and it came out beautifully. I never make my pasta dough in the food processor (I like to do it the traditional way and dump it all out on the counter), but this was an easy method and it definitely came together quickly. I did find that it required a bit of additional flour, which I kneaded into the dough by hand.
The Snapper was already in perfect little pieces. I dusted them with flour and got them ready to sear in a pan over high heat with a scant amount of oil. I browned them on each side, transferred them to an oven-safe plate, and let them finish cooking at 350⁰ while I made the sauce.
Dijon Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 1 minced shallot
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Fresh thyme
I started with the same pan I used for the fish. The bits in the pan will add flavor to the sauce. Over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and shallots and stir until tender, but not brown. Add the wine to the pan. Whisk in the mustard (I used a whole grain Dijon) and the evaporated milk. (The lower water content in the evaporated milk yields a thicker, creamier sauce.) Simmer it for a few minutes while stirring or hold it over very low heat until you are ready to use it, if needed.
Assemble your pasta and fish on a plate, finish it off with the sauce, and dig in!
This would be great over ANY pasta, rice, quinoa… or even on its own!