Sunday, April 11, 2010

Titina's Back with Lobster and a Favorite Ingredient

Capri Flavors Chef and Cooking Teacher Titina Vuotto returned to her classroom-kitchen with a favorite (and fitting) recipe last Monday night. Her Lobster with Tomatoes is celebration food--simple but very special. And Titina is celebrating. She is teaching her popular cooking classes again after weeks of recovery from joint-replacement surgery.

"It was a happy class," said Titina's husband Costanzo. "The lobster was very delicious and the people were surprised that lobster could be done that way."

That way is the Italian way, pairing prized and pricey lobster tails with some of the world's best tomatoes.

Great tomatoes are one of Titina's favorite ingredients. In her classes she reaches for three different kinds:

Canned San Marzano Tomatoes--Italy's most famous tomato, these plum-types are Titian's favorite. She even has her own label, Titina's Tomatoes, grown by a co-op of farmers in the rich volcanic soil of Italy's Mt. Vesuvius.

Annalisa Cherry Tomatoes--Great flavor with almost no cooking, Titina uses these for pizza topping and fast sauces including Monday night's lobster.

Fresh grape tomatoes--When home-grown tomatoes aren't available, grape tomatoes are Titina's choice for bruschetta--her favorite appetizer--so easy any cook can make it at home.

For more on Titina's bruschetta, check out this earlier blog post. And here's her recipe for Lobster and Tomatoes:

Aragnosta al Pomodori
Lobster with Tomatoes

¼ cup butter
1 onion, finely chopped
11 ounces tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cubed or 1 can pomodori Annalisa
1Tbsp. tomato paste
6 Lobster tails, shelled
Scant ½ cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
Serves: 6; Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking Time: 15 minutes; Level of Difficulty: Easy

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, then ass the tomatoes. Mix the tomato paste with 2 tablespoons warm water, stir into the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree, then, return to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the lobster and cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the sauce has thickened. Arrange the lobster on a warm serving dish and spoon the sauce over them.

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