Lobster Fra Diavolo

This recipe is a real treat for special occasions. Lobsters are cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, and then the sauce with lobster meat is served on pasta. Generally, any recipe with “diavolo” in it’s title means it will have a bit of heat in it from the addition of hot peppers. You can omit them if you choose, or certainly adjust the heat to your taste. You can cook lobster in this manner to serve over rice just as easily, although I do prefer pasta with mine.

If you are uncomfortable handling live lobsters, you can have your fish monger steam it for you, and then cut it into pieces at home. I would then recommend cooking the body in the sauce for flavor, and removing the meat from the tail and claws, and heating it in the sauce just before serving.

If you are not sure how hot your red pepper flakes really are, try adding just a little and letting the sauce cook for 15 minutes or so then tasting. You can always add extra if needed, but cannot remove them easily if you add too much initially.

Variations of this recipe cook the lobster halves in the oil before making the sauce, use brandy instead of wine, and I have even seen heavy cream added to the sauce just before serving. To really impress your guests, serve the pasta in a large platter or serving bowl with parts of the lobster arranged attractively on top as shown in the photo, and then serve to individual plates.

Note: A neat trick we learned to remove all of the meat from the smaller pieces was to use a rolling pin. It removes even the most stubborn pieces!

Variation: You can substitute shrimp for the lobster, but I would cook them cleaned in the sauce for no more than 5 to 7 minutes to keep them tender.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Lobster fra Diavolo

Lobster fra Diavolo

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

An elegant dish to serve for special occasions. For an impressive entrance, serve the pasta on a large platter with the lobsters arranged on top.


  • 2 Lobsters (1 to 1 1/2 Pounds Each)
  • 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 3 Cups Chopped Or Strained Canned Tomatoes (I prefer Pomi Brand Or Any Good Quality Imported Italian Tomato)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes As Desired
  • 1 Pound Fresh Spghetti, Linguine Or Long Pasta Of Choice


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or saucepan, and once hot add the onions.
  2. Cook until translucent and soft, and then add the garlic.
  3. Cook just a minute or two until fragrant.
  4. Add the wine, and cook until it is reduced by half.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir.
  6. Next season with salt, pepper, fresh basil and a dash of red pepper flakes.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  8. Cut the lobsters in half lengthwise, and add them to the sauce.
  9. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat until the lobsters have turned bright pink and the meat is cooked.
  10. Remove the lobsters from the sauce and cut the meat from the tail and claws and cut into bite sized pieces.
  11. Return the meat to the sauce and keep warm.
  12. While the lobster is cooking, heat a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.
  13. Cook the pasta until it is "al dente".
  14. Drain well, and return the pasta to the pot.
  15. Add a couple of ladlefuls of the sauce to the pasta, and over medium heat stir to mix.
  16. Divide the pasta into four individual serving plates, and top with the remaining sauce.
  17. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and serve.

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