The Italian dish Vancouverites should try to make

TV chef Lidia Bastianich is coming to Vancouver, and she's got just the West Coast recipe to share

August 17, 2016

By Jenni Baynham

Consider yourself a little too carb-shy for Italian food? Forget about it. New York’s own Chef Lidia Bastianich is coming to town for the Les Dames d’Escoffier gala dinner (it’s at The Four Seasons this year, the menu is incredible, and you can get tickets here), and she’s got just the dish for us West Coasters. “It’s all about the fish,” says Bastianich, “You’ve got to utilize the best product you guys have out there.” Bastianich also understands that though Vancouver might consider itself a foodie city, we do appreciate convenience: “Everyone thinks sauces take forever, but this spicy marinara sauce is done in twenty minutes.”

Test it out yourself, then tag us with #VanMag to show us your marvellous creation. If you want to take on more of Bastianich’s recipes, her book Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine is available at Indigo.

Baked Lobster with a Bread Crumb Topping
Serves 6 as an appetizer or 3 as a main

Ingredients:

3 live lobsters, about 2 ½ pounds each
1½ cups bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
Lemon wedges, for serving

About 30 minutes before you plan to cut up the lobsters, put them in the freezer. They will become inactive as their temperature drops (but don’t let them freeze). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat it to 400 degrees. Split the lobster in half lengthwise, one at a time: Hold each lobster flat on a cutting board, and place the point of a heavy chef’s knife through the shell just behind the head, with the blade lined up between the eyes. Bring the blade down firmly, splitting the head in two. Turn the lobster so you can align the knife blade from behind the head along the tail, and cut down through the entire body and tail in one stroke. When all the lobsters are split, remove and discard the sac and nerve tissue in the head cavity behind each one’s eyes, and the thin intestinal tract that runs along the back between shell and tail meat. Arrange the six lobster halves on the baking sheet, cut sides up, claws extended to keep the lobster in place without rolling.

Toss together the bread crumbs, chopped parsley, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in ¼ cup of the olive oil, and toss well, until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cut surface of the lobster halves, covering all the meaty parts; lightly press crumbs into the cavities, too. Pour the wine and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil into the pan around the lobsters (not on the crumbs); sprinkle the remaining salt into the wine and oil, and stir. Tent the pan of lobsters loosely with a sheet of foil (don’t let it touch the topping). Roast for 10 minutes, remove the foil, and roast another 30 minutes, until the lobsters are cooked through and the crumbs are crisp and golden.

Serve the lobsters immediately, placing a half on each dinner plate, or all the halves on a big platter to share family-style. Spoon any juices in the pan over the lobster; place lemon wedges on the plates or platters. Make sure the napkins and bowls for the shells are handy, and dig in.

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