Jun 13, 2019

Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
This summer seafood pasta combines some of my favorite East coast flavors into one dish.

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This summer seafood pasta combines some of my favorite East coast flavors into one dish. I love the pairing of tender lobster meat with succulent and sweet New Jersey corn and tomatoes; it reminds me of our annual lobster boil we do on the 4th of July each year. My dad orders lobsters from Boston and has them delivered right to our front door. We get sweet corn from one of the farms down the road. New Jersey is called the “Garden state” for a reason – around my house there are tons of rolling green hills and local farms with fresh produce. The lobster, corn and tomatoes are combined with al dente rigatoni and tossed in a light Cheddar cream sauce and topped with fresh chopped basil.

Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni

All About Lobster Meat

Lobsters are harvested in New England year round though they are primarily considered to be “in season” during the summer months starting in June. During the summer I usually buy live whole lobsters and cook them myself for dishes such as this. During the cooler winter months I frequently opt to have the fishmonger boil or steam them so that I can just pick them up. But if you are buying your lobsters whole, it takes about 4½ pounds of live lobsters to get 1 pound of meat. 

Easier still, you can find lobster meat already cooked, broken down and removed from the shell at some specialty seafood markets. So check out more recipes using lobster here. This recipe is also a great way to utilize leftover lobster meat after a classic New England lobster boil.

Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Lobster – While this recipe uses lobster tails because they are easy to cook, any lobster meat can be substituted in this summer pasta recipe.
  • Corn – I love making the most of sweet summer corn picked up from local farm stands. When buying ears corn, look for a bright green husk that is tight around the corn. Feel the kernels through the husk, they should be plump. (I like to peel back a section of the husk to double check the kernels.) Look at the tassel (the strings at the top), it should be yellow or light brown – it should have a sweet smell.
  • Cherry Tomato – Cherry tomatoes are a small, juicy variety of tomato with a thicker skin. They are much sweeter than other varieties of tomatoes.
  • Shallots – Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed swap in yellow or red onion in this recipe. The general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion.
Succulent summer Maine lobster meat paired with cherry tomatoes, corn and tossed with rigatoni for a delicious summer pasta dinner.

How to Make this Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni

  1. Cook the lobster tails. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the lobster tails and cook until the shells turn bright red and the meat is tender and pulls away from the shell easily, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the lobster meat. Remove the lobster tails and set aside then bring the water back to a rolling boil. Cut the shells of the tails lengthwise down the middle and remove the meat. Roughly chop the meat and set it aside.
  3. Cook the rigatoni. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Set aside 1 cup of the pasta water then drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  4. Cook the shallots. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream and cheese. Add the cream and heat, stirring frequently until simmering and whisk in the cheese. Continue to whisk until the cheese has melted then remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Cook the corn and tomatoes. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are tender about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and cook until they burst, about 3 minutes.
  7. Assemble the pasta. Toss the pasta in the cream sauce, adding some of the pasta water if needed until all the noodles are coated. Stir in the tomatoes and corn and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve. Ladle into warmed pasta bowls and top with lobster tail meat and basil.
Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Succulent summer Maine lobster meat paired with cherry tomatoes, corn and tossed with rigatoni for a delicious summer pasta recipe

Summer Lobster and Corn Rigatoni

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 medium Maine lobster tails
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium ears corn, kernels sliced off the cob, about 2 cups
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the lobster tails and cook until the shells turn bright red and the meat is tender and pulls away from the shell easily, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lobster tails and set aside then bring the water back to a rolling boil. Cut the shells of the tails lengthwise down the middle and remove the meat. Roughly chop the meat and set it aside.
  • Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Set aside 1 cup of the pasta water then drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and heat, stirring frequently until simmering and whisk in the cheese. Continue to whisk until the cheese has melted then remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are tender about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and cook until they burst, about 3 minutes.
  • Toss the pasta in the cream sauce, adding some of the pasta water if needed until all the noodles are coated. Stir in the tomatoes and corn and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into warmed pasta bowls and top with lobster tail meat and basil.

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