Lobster Fra Diavolo

On Saturday morning, I sent my husband to the market to buy some sliced turkey breast for lunch and he came home with five live lobsters. He said how could he resist the lobsters when they were selling for $3.99 a pound and the turkey breast he bought was $6.99 pound. I couldn’t argue with his thinking.

Five lobster’s, two people and no dinner guests…what to do with all that lobster meat. We have loads of fresh tomatoes in the garden and I have been making marinara sauce for the freezer. The answer was simple…Lobster Fra Diavolo with a fresh spicy tomato sauce served with tagliatelle.

Lobster Fra Diavolo

We would boil all five of the lobsters, use two for our Fra Diavolo and save the meat of the other three for another meal or two.

The best part of the deal was that my husband cooked the lobsters and took them all apart which made me very happy.

Lobster Claw And Knuckle Meat
Split Lobster Tails

Once the lobster was prepped, the dinner was simple and quick to prepare.

Lobster Fra Diavolo

This recipe is for two persons, adjust accordingly.

  • 2   1  1/4 lb. lobsters cooked*,  tails split, claws and knuckles removed from shell
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small onion, minced fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 or 2 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 2 c. basic marinara sauce or canned plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 additional Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 oz. tagliatelle pasta or pasta of your choice

*To cook the lobster, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobster head first,  return to a full boil, cover and cook for four minutes. Remove lobster and let cool until they can be handled. This method is for lobster that will be reheated. If cooking and then eating right away, cook for 6 minutes after they have returned to a full boil. If you do not wish to do this process, many markets and lobster ponds will steam your lobsters for you. In that case be sure not to overcook the lobster when it goes into the sauce or it will turn tough. 

In a skillet large enough to hold the finished meal, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook until soft. Stir in the anchovy paste and red pepper, add the white wine and cook for about a minute. Add the marinara sauce, oregano, 1 Tbsp. of basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Let simmer about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente. About two minutes before the pasta is done add the lobster to the sauce to reheat.  Then remove the tails and two pieces of the claw meat and set aside. Drain the pasta well, add to the sauce, toss and cook to desired doneness  Plate the pasta, top with tail and claw meat and sprinkle with the remaining basil. 


This simple dish used to be very popular in Italian American restaurants. In other parts of the world where Maine lobster is not available, you might find this dish prepared with langoustines, prawns, crayfish or shrimp.

I am republishing this post as it is not showing up on WordPress Reader. This is the second post…A Boater’s Dream wasn’t there as well. I would appreciate hearing from any of you that are following me as to whether my posts are appearing in the reader or not.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

157 thoughts on “Lobster Fra Diavolo

    1. Hi Mandy, It really has been a treat to have lobsters at such a good price this year. It makes you want to cook with them all the time. My husband is a real sweetie…he often saves me from doing the gicky tasks in the kitchen. Thank you for your comment.

  1. I was surprised to see lobster for $3.99/lb when we were in Portland. As our son explained, these were the soft shell lobsters that were in abundance this year. We found most of the restaurants and lobster shacks we visited also used the soft shell lobster. They are so much easier to peel and have a sweeter taste to them. Absolutely, loved them. Your lobster diavlo looks and sounds divine.

    1. Hi Richard, It is the soft-shell lobster that is this price and they are definitely much easier to peel. I hope you ate your share while you were here in Maine. The lobster fra diavolo was delicious especially with the sauce from the heirloom tomatoes.

  2. So the pictures are amazing, but kind of scary. I have no CLUE how to take apart a lobster. Oooo, here’s an idea, send you husband down with 3 or 4 lobsters and Ruth and I can put him to work in Virginia 😉 Even better, you could drive him down!

    1. Hi Emilie, Thank you for your nice compliment. Taking a lobster apart isn’t much different than taking apart a shrimp or crayfish that has been cooked. Easy for me to say as my husband has always taken mine apart for me but he says it’s no problem. LOL. We love Virginia…how knows.

  3. $3.99 per pound??? Am I dreaming. I had heard there was a glut in the NE this year and that prices were cheap, but I had no idea. I think I would have to eat them daily–especially if my husband would cook and clean them! Lovely recipe. I am drooling.

    1. Hi Victoria, Yes…can you believe that lobster has been that price all summer long. When we were on our little adventure in Rockport and Bar Harbor, I had lobster every day. Come winter, we will all miss the abundance of lobster at great prices. Thank you for your nice compliment. The fra diavolo was delicious.

  4. Every now and then lobsters go on sale and the next time I am going to seize the moment and make this beautiful fresh looking dish. I, too, have been putting up marinara sauce with homegrown tomatoes so I will be ready.

    1. Hi Teresa, I think you will really enjoy this dish with sauce made from homegrown tomatoes. All of us gardeners will be thinking of summer when we cook with our sauce this winter. Thank you for your comment.

  5. How could you not load up on lobsters! I’ve been doing the same & will be soon be posting a Lobster Scramble for brunch which I discovered at the Jared Coffin House in Nantucket. I think I did a pretty good re-creation of that little number & enjoyed it this morning.

    1. Hi Diane, I haven’t been the the Jared Coffin House in years. I can’t wait to hear about your recipe for lobster scramble…I’m sure it is terrific. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Emil, I love fra diavolo and especially when it is prepared with lobster. One of these days you are going to have to make your way up to New England again. The question is how do you fit it in to your busy travel schedule. Thank you for your comment.

  6. If only I could get lobster for $3.99/lb! What a sweetheart of a hubby you have. And he even prepped the lobsters too! I’d take the lobster over turkey any day. 🙂 This dish looks divine and I am going to put this in my to make list. Which keeps growing. And I haven’t seen your posts in the reader. This post came through my email.

    1. Hi Karista, Thank you for your nice compliment. Lobster at $3.99 a pound is fantastic. I know that the prices will be slowly going up as the weather turns cooler. My husband makes it a joy to cook in the kitchen by helping with prep work when I need it. I hope you will enjoy this dish if you get a chance to make it. Thank you for letting me know that you haven’t seen my posts in the reader…hopefully I can get the problem fixed.

    1. Hi Laura, I do have to agree with you. I had a big smile on my face when he came home with a bag of lobsters. They were sweet and delicious. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Uru, I will be sure to let my husband know of your kind comment…I know he will appreciate it. I’m so glad that he brought lobster home…it was delicious.

    1. Hi Monique…It seems you and I have the same taste. The claws are my favorite part of the lobster…although it is all delicious. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Norma, You must leave New York sometime and head in our direction. We would love to cook lobster for you. Perhaps you could bring one of your wonderful vegetables from our garden to go along with the meal. Isn’t my husband the best to prep the lobster for me? It was a delicious meal.

  7. “What to do with all that lobster meat?” I dream of the moment when I will have this dilemma 😉 I eat lobster so rarely, I simply add some home-made, well seasoned mayonnaise, a good bottle of white wine and I’m in heaven. I imagine that when one is lucky enough to have lobster cheaper than turkey (I still cannot believe it), such a luscious sauce is a great choice.

    1. Hi Sissi, Lobster is cheaper than turkey and even beef steak. Two lobsters would have been plenty but I think it is a “manly thing” to buy more than you need. It was a lovely and delicious dilemma to be in. I think you will like how I dealt with “too much lobster” in the next post. LOL. Thank you for your nice comment.

  8. This is naughty food … fresh lobster – I’m so picky with mine – has to be “Lobster Au Gratin” with parmesan cheese and mustard. What a fanastic price .. for the lobster – 6 times the price over here. I can smell the aroma from the sauce .. rich, Italian and very bold, still I would go for the French model on this one *smile – but if I could buy lobster for that price – I would give this a try.

    1. Hi Viveka, Naughty but nice…it seems to be a theme with us girls. I agree that your choice of preparation is delicious but I have an over abundance of tomatoes that have to be used in the next week or two as we have to close down the cottage. Fra Diavolo was a delicious choice as I love spicy.

    1. HI Wendy, I do have to say that my husband does take advantage of what life hands him. I’m so happy that he came home with such a wonderful treasure. The lobster were delicious. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Thank you Suzanne, for your nice compliment. You must have had lobster so often growing up…that is great. I agree that it is one of the most succulent meats there is. I’m glad that you liked the recipe.

  9. I love how you describe such a beautiful presentation as ‘simple and quick to prepare’. You are neglecting the wrestling match your husband must have had with the 5 lobster.
    Beautiful post Karen.

    1. Hi Conor, You really had me laughing with your comment. Yes…my husband is a champion lobster wrestler. When I walked into the kitchen, I had all the beautifully cooked and shelled parts to continue with the recipe. I know that you must be highly qualified as well in dealing with such matters. LOL. Thank you so much for your compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  10. Oh, man, I could just crawl right into the computer screen and slurp up every bit of that lobster! I’ve said this already this summer, but it’s just plain cruel looking at this beautiful lobster at such amazing prices. I’m glad someone can enjoy it for that! You’re dish looks divine and lucky you that your husband was so kind to dispatch those big boys for you! 🙂

    1. Hi Betsy, Thank you for your nice compliment. This really has been a great summer in Maine with the price of lobster so low. Aren’t I the lucky one for having a husband that not only is a good shopper AND he did take care of those big boys for me.

  11. Your husband and my husband must be twins. That’s exactly what he would do. Send him out with a specific list and he comes home with something totally foreign. Unbelievable. But what a bargain. Your recipe looks amazing xx

    1. Hi Charlie, It does sound like they shop the same way, I think it’s a manly thing. The nice part is that we ate very well for not much money. I think that I’ll send him shopping again soon.

  12. Wow! I am envious, Karen. Wish we had fresh lobsters here. I’ve actually never cooked lobsters before, most for the reason that they aren’t local here. One day, I hope to visit the East coast and have good lobsters.

    1. Hi Larry, Thank you for your nice compliment. The price of lobster has been the same all summer and everyone in Maine is certainly taking advantage of it. I’m glad my husband went shopping for me.

  13. Mmmmmmmm, lobster, truly a wonderful crustacean. My friend says you should always choose the lobsters who look the angriest and fight the most. I have no clue why. I think he just likes to fight things.

    1. Hi Elissa, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I have heard that the livelier the lobster, the fresher the lobster so your friend may be right.

  14. It made me laugh to read that your husband went out for turkey breast and returned with live lobsters instead. And at that price, no wonder! Your dish looks absolutely delicious!

    I’ve been having intermittent problems with my posts not showing up in Reader. It seemed to be resolved for a couple of months, but my last post didn’t show up there. If it happens again I’m going to contact Support. They were very helpful last time this happened to me.

    1. Hi Marlene, I couldn’t argue with my husband’s reasoning and the lobster was delicious. Thank you for your comment about the reader. Sorry that you have been having problems as well. It finally got on but showed it being published a day earlier than it actually was. That put it way down among posts that have already been seen by readers. Such is life sometimes.

  15. This is one of those photos that just “jumps” out and has me all excited! Wow, that is quite the dish and I wish I could get my hands on some lobster for those prices so I could do the same! Outstanding! xx Smidge
    ps.. I occasionally use the reader, but mostly click on icons and go wandering everywhere. I tried email but that got crazy.. so I’m sort of random these days. I’m not sure the reader is very accurate?? I never seem to see most of my fellow commenters there? xx

    1. Hi Barbara, Thank you for your nice compliment. The price of lobster has been incredibly low all summer long. Thank you for your comment about the reader. I have been having problems with my posts getting on the reader. I have also been missing posts from bloggers that I follow for sometime now. If you are missing them too, it must be a common occurrence. It makes me feel bad that I can’t stay current on other bloggers’ posts.

  16. I have been wanting to read this one all day Karen. What a beautiful dinner. The lobster looks phenomenal and I love what you’ve done with it. Easily one of my favorites, that’s for sure!

    1. Thank you Kristy, for your nice compliment. You knew that I would have to do a lobster recipe sooner or later. One more coming soon…we had all that cooked lobster meat to use.

    1. Hi Nami, It doesn’t get much better than pasta and lobster in the same dish…I’m glad you like it. I use anchovy in a lot of dishes as it adds a nice depth of flavor. Most people will never guess that it is in the dish. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  17. Honestly I am quite a nice person when you get to know me, but at the moment I feel absolutely ugly peagreen: in my part of Oz, methinks the lobster price is close to 10x that and quite out of reach unless you are celebrating a lotto win! Must say I love mine plain grilled with a tad of garlicky or herby butter, but have throroughly enjoyed ‘diavolo’ of which this is a lovely recipe! Oh, those photos are so yum 😦 !

    1. Hi Eha, I know that you must be a very nice person. Oh my goodness…10 times the price is terrible. I would be green with envy too. LOL. I agree that lobster with butter is delicious and have it that way often. Right now the garden is loaded with very ripe tomatoes so diavolo was perfect. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  18. This is simply beautiful Karen! I gazed and gazed, and gazed at these lobsters! You are soooooo lucky to get the best fresh lobsters in the US! Maine is so famous for them!

  19. Your hubby sure deserves some extra hugs for that nice gesture. But you deserve a big round of applause for your yummy recipe. I mean hands down every time I visit your website I think to myself my goodness that one is super good I am bookmarking it. You never cease to amaze me.

    1. What a lovely compliment Bam…thank you very much. I really was thrilled that my husband did the cooking and shelling for me. He certainly made my job easy.

    1. Ciao Barbara, I wish you could share this meal with us. You could bring a loaf of your delicious bread to go along with the meal. I have to agree…my husband is a real sweetie. Thank you for your compliment.

  20. That looks absolutely amazing! Haven´t eaten lobster since last September on our trip to northern Spain – will have to send my hubby out and see if he can come back with a bargain too!

    1. Thank you Chica, for your lovely compliment. You will definitely have to send Big Man out, I bet he can find a bargain. You must have gotten a better internet connection. Glad that you could take a little break from construction and stop by. Continued good luck with your project.

  21. Omigosh, this looks and sounds incredible. I definitely have to add this dish to my list of things to do with lobster, especially now since I’m making something with it two or three times a week!

    1. Thank you Linda, for your lovely compliment. With the price of lobster being so good, how can we not eat it a lot. I hope you will enjoy the recipe.

    1. Hi Jessica, Wish I could pass you a bite. It truly was delicious and you are right…succulent is the perfect word to describe lobster. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Mary, for your lovely compliment. I know what you mean about the price. If I want to grill hamburgers, I’m paying more for the ground beef than I do for lobster.

      1. I appreciate you letting me know that the post appeared in your reader…that’s good. I contacted support as this was the second time in two weeks that there has been a problem.

    1. Hi Jed, I think it is a guy thing. My husband has a saying that “he doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of his friends” by not having enough. It carries over to when he is shopping for just the two of us. The seafood certainly is plentiful and fresh in New England. Hope you will make it of southern N. H….let me know.

  22. Hi Karen, I have to say this is the wrong kind of post to read at lunchtime…suddenly the ham, turkey, mayo, muenster, provolone, lettuce and tomato sandwich I just made doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Your recipe and photos sounds and looks totally scrumptious. Good husband!

    1. Hi David, I know what you mean. I’m reading about your sandwich before dinner and it is making me hungry. Actually it sounds very good. I think you are right…I do have a good husband. Thank you for your very nice compliment.

    1. Hi Katerina, I’m like you, lobster is one of my favorite things to eat. If you are not brave, then the best way to cook them is to have someone else plop them in the pot and shell them for you like I did. LOL. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  23. Gosh, I haven’t had Fra Diavolo anything in years (decades, really). And it’s such a great dish! Very nice rendition of it here. Although I have cooked lobster before, it’s really not one of my favorite things to do – so nowadays I always have my market do it. They’re set up for it and do it well. Of course the price we pay for lobster isn’t anywhere near $3.99/pound! Fun post – thank you.

    1. Hi John, I love fra diavolo…usually with shrimp. All the markets in New England will steam your lobsters for you at no extra charge. It really is nice if you don’t want to do it yourself. Lobster has sold for $3.99 all summer…even in the dead of winter, they usually don’t sell for more than $6.99 a pound. We have cheap lobster in New England but think of it this way…you don’t have to shovel snow when it is in the teen’s outside. I guess one thing offsets the other. LOL. Thank you for your nice comment.

  24. Oh my goodness, that lobster meat has me drooling. Note to self – do not visit delicious blogs before dinner. What a great way to use that wonderful bargain on lobster!

    1. Hi Susan, The lobster was terrific. Sorry if I have made you extra hungry before dinner. Knowing you…your meal will be great as well. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  25. First time I ever heard of someone mistaking a lobster for a turkey! 🙂 Yeh – I wouldn’t have argued if my husband brought home live lobster either, but @ 3.99/pound. That is unheard of!!! I’m headed to Maine!!! Save me some of that delicious looking claw meat will you? 🙂

    1. Hi MJ, Yes…lobster really doesn’t look like turkey at all does it. But I agree with you, I was very happy with his purchase. Come on up…there is plenty more lobster. Thank you for your comment.

    1. HI Candace, As much as I enjoy turkey, lobster is definitely the absolute best. Adding pasta and fresh tomato sauce and it doesn’t get much better. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Marina, My husband really did a great job of not only getting the lobster but also getting them prepped for the recipe. My poor girl…two years without seeing a lobster, that’s terrible. Thanks for the comment.

      1. Lol, Karen, apparently the only “lobster” they eat around here is beef! My husband has 9 more months left of his medical residency and then we are going to move back to Seattle, where we can eat all seafood we want, including lobster… 🙂 I hope…
        I made some biscotti, come see it, please… 🙂

  26. Lobster has been such a bargain this summer! You’ve done great things with your “catch”. Your pasta sounds wonderful and your pictures today are good enough to eat. I always love to visit here. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary.

    1. Thank you Mary, for your very nice compliment…I always look forward to your visit. The price of lobster has been so low this summer. Pasta is always good but adding the lobster made it great. Have a great day as well.

  27. Oh you know how much I love it when you guys have Lobster! And how wonderful to be able to pick them up like that, and for your husband to do the tricky prep. A delicious recipe – light and tasty!

    1. Hi Claire, Thank you for your compliment. I love that my husband does the “messy” work for me. I just get to be creative. I thought the recipe turned out really good.

  28. Oh my. I am drooling, dreaming and wishing my hubby would come home with lobsters tonight. $3.99 a pound?! That is UNHEARD of! I would have bought five too! This recipe looks amazing and so does the lobster. Great post!

    1. Hi Geni, Can you believe $3.99 a pound…that has been the price all summer. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Celia, Thank you for your nice compliment. I really was happy that he came home with lobster…it was a good buy. Your lobsters are like the ones that live in the waters around Florida. I’m sorry to hear that they are such an expensive item where you live. Of course this dish would be wonderful with prawns.

    1. Hi Raymund, Maybe lobster will be on sell and your wife will come home with it instead of the chicken breast. That would be a nice surprise like I had. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Rita, Thank you for your nice compliment. It is funny how traditional dishes from Italy have been Americanized…probably being adapted to the ingredients that were available at the time. I happy that the recipes inspire you to try the variations.

    1. Hi Heidi, Nice to hear from you. This meal was delicacies…I’m really happy that my husband brought home the lobster. Thank you for your compliment.

  29. mmmm Lobster! Love it! Heading to the store after this – might have to pick some up – We often have Market Basket steam them while we shop and then pick them up right before check out! By the time we are home they are just cool enough to peel and eat! (advantages of living in an urban area a mile from the store, I suppose) BTW way have you tried making lobster filled ravioli for the freezer as a way to preserve some of the extra lobster? just a thought
    As for the reader – you are showing up fine. I do notice that sometimes the reader doesn’t show them but has an orange button (upper right but not in the bar) that says something like “7 new posts” (dependent on how many you subscribe to etc) – is it possible the posts are there and just hiding?

    1. Hi Carol, We are lucky that msst grocery stores New England will steam the lobster free of charge. I shop at Market Basket when we are in New Hampshire and their seafood department is one of the best. I love seafood ravioli but I had another idea for what I wanted to use the other three lobsters for…stay tuned as they say.
      Thank you for your comment about the reader. I think support may have fixed the problem, at least I hope so.

    1. Hi Dragonette, We are lucky that lobster is always a good price in Maine and New Hampshire but it has been great over this summer. For those that don’t have any access to lobster or the price makes it prohibitive, shrimp or prawns makes a wonderful alternative…I do that a lot. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Kale, Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your nice comment. Cooking really isn’t hard…it just takes a little time to gain confidence.

  30. #Maine: what an impeccable region for seafood and fresh ingredients. Second only to my home state – Washington! (Of course I’m biased!) But really, the quality of the ingredients and development of natural flavors – especially when it comes to lobster – makes the region all the more special to travel to… especially for us food lovers.

  31. Seafood cooked alla “fra diavolo” is such a treat, Karen. Although not the case around here, I’d heard that lobster prices were a bargain this Summer back East and you’ve just supplied proof. What a bargain! Glad to see you took advantage — and in such a delicious way!

    1. Hi John, Yes, the price of lobster was so good this summer. I love fra diavolo…I could have some form of seafood prepared that way once a week.This recipe was very enjoyable.

  32. Company coming for dinner Saturday, lobster from my lobster guy that afternoon so why not try this? I can think of no good reason so once again I’m glad to have your delectable on my plate.

    1. Hi Linda, I hope you and your guests will enjoy the lobster fra diavolo. It makes me feel so good when a great hostess like yourself chooses my recipes for entertaining her friends.

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