OPTIONAL Carole Peck Owner/Executive Chef The Good News Cafe, Woodbury CT; Author, The Buffet Book (Viking Penguin 1997) "I do not believe there is one food that is an aphrodisiac, but some dishes can be so comforting that they make you more relaxed and in a more loving mood."
To cook the lobster fill an 8-10 quart pot three-fourths full with water.
Add the thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Squeeze in the juice of the lemons, then drop them in the pot. Cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the lobsters and cook 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the lobsters in a colander, cover with ice, and let cool.
When the lobster is cool enough to handle, pull the tail from the body and remove the claws. Discard the body, or reserve for use in a sauce or stock.
Cut the shell from the tail using a knife or scissors and remove the meat.
With the blunt end of a knife chop off the tips of the claws as close to the ends as possible (this will help release the meat from the claws).
Crack the claws in the center, break open, and carefully remove the claw meat without breaking apart. Meat from the larger claws will have a piece of cartilage in it; this can be pulled out from the area where the claw fingers meet. Cut the tail meat into ½ inch slices. Leave the claws whole to use as a garnish. Set the lobster meat aside until ready to assemble the pasta dish.
To cook the pasta, fill a 6 to 8 quart pot with water, add salt, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and stir. Cook the pasta for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Pour into a colander to drain. Do not rinse the pasta; just toss it to remove any excess water.
Sprinkle the oil over the pasta and toss with a large chef's fork. Pour the pasta onto a sheet tray or shallow dish to cool (if it looks too sticky, sprinkle some more oil on at this point). Let the pasta cool to room temperature.
When the pasta is cooled pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cooled pasta in a bowl with the Parmesan and provolone cheese, spinach, heavy cream, and lobster meat (except claws). Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a large round, oval, or oblong baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until bubbling hot. Garnish with the lobster claws and truffle slivers (if using).
Posted to recipelu-digest by molony on Mar 04, 1998