Winter pastas

Penne with lobster and proscuitto.
Penne with lobster and proscuitto.

400g good-quality dried penne
125g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
250g crushed tinned tomatoes
3 slices prosciutto, cut into julienne
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cognac
1/2 cup cream
400g green (raw) lobster meat, cut into 1cm chunks
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Serves 4

Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water for 7-8 minutes (about a minute or so less than directed on the packet), or until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the butter, garlic and chilli in a saucepan over a medium heat. As soon as the garlic begins to turn golden, add the tomatoes, stirring with a wooden spoon, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 1 minute more. Sprinkle in the cognac, then add the cream, then the lobster meat and cook for 1-2 minutes or until it is just cooked.

Add the parsley, give a final stir and toss in the penne. Mix well and divide among 4 bowls to serve.

400g good-quality dried orecchiette
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small brown onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
250g crushed tinned tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
24 Ligurian olives
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
400g fresh tuna, cut into 2cm cubes

Serves 4

Cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water for 7-8 minutes (about a minute or so less than directed on the packet) or until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat half the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. When hot, add the onion, garlic and salt to taste and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer a further minute until the wine has evaporated. Add the olives and mint, shake the pan for a minute, then remove from the heat.

In another non-stick pan, heat the remaining olive oil. When hot, add the tuna and sprinkle with salt. Sear on all sides. The tuna should be medium-rare in the middle.

Add the tuna to the sauce, then add the orecchiette. Fold through and mix completely. Check the seasoning, add lashings of fresh pepper, divide pasta among 4 bowls and serve.


• The lobster could easily be substituted with firm, white-fleshed fish, scallops, prawns or crab meat.

• I like both of these dishes finished with toasted breadcrumbs for texture.

• Serve your pasta with a green salad, crusty bread and a good riesling.


Grosset, one of our finest riesling producers, was established in 1981, in South Australia's Clare Valley. Pour a glass of the 2011 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling (about $50) with the lobster penne; it has pure varietal character and seamless length.

Source: Good Weekend 
For regular updates on upcoming stories and events visit the Good Weekend Facebook page
Follow Cuisine on Twitter @Cuisine

This story Winter pastas first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.