Go-to Date Night In: Summer Edition

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My husband and I got married in July.  We used to celebrate our anniversary by going out for a fancy meal in New York City or maybe even getting away for the weekend. But three kids later, and romantic weekends have given way to family vacations. For the past nine summers, we’re away with our kids on our anniversary.  We’ve been going to the same spot in New Hampshire every year.  It’s a small cottage on a small lake with a private pier and the absolute best sunsets.  However, we’re at least an hour away from a great restaurant, and quite frankly, we’d rather get the kids to bed early, pop a bottle of champagne, and share a homemade meal on our screened in porch, watching the sunset.  It’s pretty magical. And, we look forward to it every year.

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My go-to meal for our anniversary dinner is a lobster pasta.  Lobster is usually affordable in New England in the summertime, and while I love it, I don’t love the mess it involves.  So, we get the supermarket to steam the lobsters for us, my husband does the messy work of breaking down the lobsters and getting out the meat, and I take the meat and a few other simple ingredients and make a light and delicious summer pasta dinner.  However, if you steam the lobsters yourself, you can reserve the cooking water for seafood stock or add a splash to your pasta, which would elevate the dish. There is something really lovely about an anniversary spent in our little cottage on the lake, the sun setting, our kids sleeping soundly in their beds exhausted after a day swimming and playing.  When we raise our champagne glasses, we’re aware of just how much we have to celebrate.

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 good sized lobsters, steamed, and broken down.  Meat sliced into bite size pieces.
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved (the fresher the better!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • 12 ounces of fresh pasta (boxed is fine in a pinch)

What to do:

In a large pot of well salted, boiling water, cook the pasta according to cooking directions, but cooking just shy of al dente by one minute.  Set aside a mug of the starchy cooking water, then drain and set the pasta aside.

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Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large sautee pan.  Once warm, add the grade tomatoes and crushed red pepper.  Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices, add lobster meat and garlic.  Allow to cook for another minute or two, until the meat has warmed and the garlic has cooked through.  Add the pasta, and continue to cook for another minute.  Add the butter and a splash of the starchy water to finish.  Toss with the basil and serve.

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