1 southern rock lobster (about 1kg)30 gm chilled butter, diced1 tbsp finely chopped chivesPinch of saffron powder (see note)Coral bisque1½ tbsp olive oil3vine-ripened tomatoes, crushed1 each onion, carrot and celery stalk, diced2 garlic cloves1 tsp fennel seeds100 ml dry white wine10 ml PernodKamut pasta dough200 gm (1 1/3 cups) white Kamut flour (see note), plus extra for dusting2large eggs
Place lobster in freezer to render it insensible (30 minutes), then spike through the base of the head with a heavy knife. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water (about 100gm salt per litre of water) to the boil, add lobster and cook over high heat until cooked through (15 minutes). Drain, place in a large Ziploc bag, seal bag, place in a large bowl of iced water, weight with a plate to keep lobster submerged, and set aside until chilled.
Remove lobster head from body by twisting in opposite directions. Scoop out the tomalley or “coral” from the head with a small spoon, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Remove legs at the joints, remove the leg meat with a skewer or crab pick (reserve legs), coarsely chop, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Halve lobster tail with a heavy, sharp knife, remove tail meat (discard intestinal tract; reserve lobster shell). Thinly slice tail meat into 18 slices, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
For coral bisque, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, crush reserved lobster legs and shell with a meat mallet or rolling pin and add to pan along with tomato, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and fennel seeds and cook, covered, until mixture is fragrant and shell is cooked (10 minutes). Add wine and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, then add 500ml water and gently simmer, covered, to infuse (40 minutes). Strain through a fine metal sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing hard on vegetables (discard solids). Add Pernod and reserved coral, cook over high heat until reduced to 375ml (15-20 minutes), season to taste and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, for Kamut pasta dough, process flour, eggs and a pinch of fine sea salt in a food processor until smooth, then shape into 6 balls, cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Working with one pasta ball at a time, feed through pasta machine rollers, starting at the widest setting. Lightly flour dough as you fold and feed it through, reducing settings notch by notch, until 1mm thick. Set aside on a lightly floured tray (keep pasta covered so it doesn’t dry out), then cut 18 10cm-diameter circles from the sheets with a cutter.
Combine lobster leg meat and 1 tbsp coral bisque in a bowl and season to taste. Place 1 tsp lobster mixture on a circle of pasta, brush pasta edge with a little water, fold in half, then bring ends together, overlap slightly, press to seal and set aside on a lightly floured tray (keep pasta covered so it doesn’t dry out). Repeat with remaining pasta and filling.
Cook tortellini in a large saucepan of salted boiling water over high heat until just tender (2 minutes), then drain.
Meanwhile, bring remaining coral bisque to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat and gradually whisk in butter. Spoon tortellini onto plates, top with coral bisque sauce, add sliced lobster meat, top with chives and saffron powder and serve.
Note To make saffron powder, toast a pinch of saffron strands in a small frying pan over low heat and grind in a mortar and pestle. Kamut flour is available from select health-food shops.
This recipe is from the March 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“Kamut flour is made of khorasan, an ancient wheat that is said to be the early form of durum wheat. It has a great flavour and makes excellent pasta. Last year we planted a crop of khorasan along with a crop of spelt,” says Biron. “This recipe uses absolutely all of the lobster, which at least gives some respect to a noble animal that has to be sacrificed for our pleasure.”