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Lobster mac ’n’ cheese

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Lobster mac ’n’ cheese
Recipe photograph by Maja Smend

Lobster mac ’n’ cheese

This indulgent rigatoni pie combines a classic mac ’n’ cheese base with juicy lobster tails and a touch of saffron

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


  • 1 x 280g pack raw lobster tails, defrosted
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 900ml whole milk
  • ½ x 0.4g jar saffron
  • 200g Gruyère, grated
  • 125g Parmesan, grated
  • 3 tbsp snipped chives, plus extra to garnish
  • 400g dried rigatoni
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 30g ciabatta or other rustic bread

Step by step

Get ahead
Prepare to the end of step 6 up to 24 hrs ahead, cover and chill; add an extra 100ml milk to the sauce in step 2, as the pasta will absorb more liquid as it stands. Add an extra 10-15 mins cooking time from chilled.
  1. Cook the lobster tails according to pack instructions, then leave to cool on a plate.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the flour. Stir together until you have a paste, then continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the brandy, then slowly add 800ml of the milk, whisking continuously until it is incorporated. Add the saffron, then cook the sauce for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until it has thickened. Meanwhile, remove the lobster meat from the shells and shred finely.
  3. Take the sauce off the heat, add the Gruyère, 100g of the Parmesan and the chives and stir until melted. Season to taste then measure out 300g of the sauce into a small pan for serving later. Stir the shredded lobster through the remaining sauce and set aside.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes until just al dente then drain and dress with 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the tubes from sticking together.
  5. Lightly oil a 20cm springform tin then start lining the rigatoni up vertically, following the line of the tin. Continue in concentric circles, making sure the pasta fills the tin but isn’t too tightly packed. Ladle the cheesy lobster sauce over the pasta, pushing the lobster meat into or in between the tubes (it’s easiest to use a spoon to make a little ‘pocket’ between some pasta tubes, then add some sauce). Continue until the sauce has filled all the pasta holes and you have a sauce layer on top.
  6. Blitz the ciabatta into breadcrumbs and toss with 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil and remaining Parmesan. Scatter over the top of the pasta.
  7. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Place the springform tin on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Cover with foil halfway through if needed, to prevent it browning too much. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
  8. Add the remaining 100ml milk to the reserved sauce and heat through gently. To serve, run a knife round the edge of the tin then release the springform. Transfer to a serving plate (you can keep the pasta pie on its base if you like) and bring to the table whole, with the sauce in a jug to pour over as you serve.

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