Being born on the North Adriatic coast and having an uncle who was a fisherman, as a child I often had fish at home. Lobster, however, not so much. But on those special days when lobster did make it to our table, Grandpa Giovanni would arm us kids with wooden boards and small hammers from his workshop arsenal. We would chew on the small legs and suck all the juice and meat out. But the big front claws were the challenge, especially around the knuckle part. We cracked every single corner of those claws—-not a morsel got away. After we were finished, the local cats got their chance. I always wondered if those cute cats ever did find anything in the lobster shells we left behind.
- Three 1½-pound live lobsters
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup blanched, sliced almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup grated Grana Padano
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 to 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Thirty minutes before you are ready to cook the lobsters, put them in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split the lobsters in half lengthwise, one at a time. Hold each lobster flat on a cutting board, and place the point of a heavy -chef’s knife through the shell just behind the head, with the blade lined up between the eyes. Bring the blade down firmly, splitting the head in two. Turn the lobster so you can align the knife blade from behind the head along the tail, and cut down through the entire body and tail in one stroke. When all the lobsters are split, remove and discard the sac and nerve tissue in the head cavity, just behind the eyes, and the thin intestinal tract that runs along the back between shell and tail meat. Twist off or cut off the claws with kitchen shears and crack each with the back of a knife or a meat tenderizer to make them easier to open when eating. You will find the green tomalley or possibly green roe which turns orange when cooked (and in English is often called the “coral”). It is all delicious when cooked, so I leave it in, but if you are squeamish you can remove it.
Arrange the six lobster halves and claws on a large, rimmed baking sheet, cut sides up.
In a large bowl, combine the panko, almonds, grated cheese, parsley, and salt. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and toss well. Fill the whole length of the lobster cavities with the stuffing, and drizzle the lobsters and claws with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour the wine around the lobster in the baking sheet (but not on the crumbs). Bake, uncovered, until the lobster meat is cooked and the crumbs are crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.
For the sauce: In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle with the parsley, and stir. Serve the lobsters with the butter sauce on the side.