I really do not know enough about how lobsters are graded world-wide but I can safely vouch for those found in the waters of Sardinia (especially in the Gulf of Asinara between Stintino and Santa Teresa di Gallura, and also at Castelsardo) and in Italy at least they are perceived as being able to compete with the very best lobsters in the world. Sardinia’s rich history of cultural influences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardinian_people) include dominion by the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon. Many people, including Italians who should know better, erroneously presume that the seafood salad called “Aragosta alla catalana”, hails from the Province of Catalonia in Spain — but it appears that in actual fact it is a Made-in-Sardinia dish, even though it is more than likely that the Catalonian cuisine would have made some inroads on that of the Island’s.
This seafood dish is made with either lobster (“aragosta”) or “astice” and, as I wrote in another post (spaghetti-with-mini-lobster-sauce), since I do not know the English translation for ‘astice’, I shall just call it: mini lobster. The recipe is simplicity itself: the mini lobster, red onions and tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. I added boiled potatoes and a scattering of basil leaves would have been nice.
If any of you read yesterday’s post, you will recognise the first of the following photos. I was making a seafood pasta dish at the same time as the astice alla catalana, and so I thought I would use the water I boiled the mini lobster in to create a stock with which to cook the ‘amatriciana di mare’ pasta. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.
So … start off by boiling the mini lobster in plenty of slightly salted water for about 8 to 10 minutes. Then remove it and let it cool.
Once it is cool enough to handle … use whatever implement suits you best … I like scissors … to remove the flesh of the mini lobster. (Unless you wish to use the lobster shell to enrich the fish stock for cooking pasta, throw the shells away.) The is the top part of the mini lobster cut in half … and you can see greeney-brownish gooey ‘stuff”. Well, despite the fact that my description of this substance renders it most unappetising … do not throw it away! It will be needed to season the seafood plate. Scrape away at the gooey stuff with either a fork or a spoon and place it in a bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice to the gooey stuff … and here is your dressing.Slice a red onion into rings. Place the rings in a bowl and cover with water. Add a good dash of vinegar to the water: as much or as little as you like. And let the onion rings seep in this liquid for at least 20 minutes. You could even add the teeniest pinch of sugar if you like (I didn’t.)
Place your boiled potatoes (room temperature) on your platter. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Arrange the flesh of the mini lobster all over the potatoes. Then cut the tomatoes into thick-ish slices and arrange those too around the dish. Strain the onion rings and shake off any excess liquid. You could even pat them dry.Pour the dressing over the lot. And here it is: Astice alla catalana. Repeat: it is missing some basil or other fragrant fresh herb …A close-up ….
Simple and incredibly more-ish.