Langoustines with Spaghetti Recipe

Well, it has been an unnecessary break from publishing so it's about time to get the blog back on track. The Facebook and Instagram pages have had frequent posts, but of course, the publications on these networks are faster and easier and I have published few or no recipes, just photos. Now I have to get my act together and start publishing on the blog again. Luckily my batteries are well charged, so here is my first post in three weeks.

I had to come back with a lot of enthusiasm so here we go!  The first recipe after this short break is not a sweet dessert but watch this space; a dessert will follow on the next post.   It is yet another pasta dish however, never have I cooked langoustines.  After trying this recipe I may frequent in cooking with this delicious ingredient.

Note: Don't be dishearted by the length of this recipe The first seven steps are just a simple run-through of how to prepare the langoustines.

Prep Time: 20-30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serve: 2

500g langoustines
1⁄2 onion
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes
90ml dry white wine
400g chopped tomatoes
120g dried spaghetti 
1⁄2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the langoustines:
1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted butter to a boil.  Place the langoustines in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook them.  Langoustine shells are naturally pinkish-orange in colour but should change to an even paler pink upon cooking.  

2. Inspect the meat under the tail to see if it is cooked.  You can see this meat on the bottom of the tail through the clearish membrane that covers it.  If it has changed colour from a pink colour to a definite white, then you know that the langoustines are done.  

3.  Drain the water with a colander and place the langoustines on a plate to cool.  Do not submerge them in cold water to cool, as the langoustines will absorb the water.

4. When cooled, place the langoustines on a clean chopping board so you can separate the edible meat from the shells.

5. Break off the tails.  Start by gripping the langoustines with two hands, one holding the head, the other holding the tail.  Separate these two parts of the body by pulling in opposite directions.  You may need to wiggle the tail a little bit to pull it loose.  Repeat this process to remove the heads.  If you like, you can use the heads and any other uneaten parts to make a stock or soup at a later time.

6. The majority of meat is inside the meat of the tail.  Pinch the sides to crack the shell and make it easier to pull away from the meat.  Then, grip the tail length-wise between both index fingers and thumbs and then gently peel the shell away from the flesh.  Once it's thoroughly loosened, pull the flesh out from the back of the shell.

7. Devein the meat by slicing through the back of the langoustine with a sharp knife to reveal the intestinal tract, which looks like a small brown vein.  Remove it with the tip of your knife. The langoustines are now ready to add to the other ingredients.

8. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the chopped onion.  Fry until translucent.

9. Add the garlic, dried chilli and stir.  Let them infuse in the oil for a couple of minutes, the add the cooked langoustines and increase the heat to high.

10. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for two minutes.  Then remove from the heat and set aside.

11. Add the wine and place it over very high heat.  Let the wine reduce and then add the chopped tomatoes.  Reduce the heat again and cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes appear saucy.  If during this time the sauce dries out excessively, add a drop of water.

12. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add spaghetti to the pot and cook until al dente and then drain the spaghetti. Transfer the cooked spaghetti to the pan with the tomato sauce and then add the langoustines.

13. Toss until the spaghetti is nicely coated in the sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and toss in some more to combine.  Serve immediately