"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Langostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce over Linguine # Freixenet: Mia Rosé #French Fridays with Dorie

Langostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce over Linguine- simplelivingeating.com

This post is sponsored by Freixenet. All opnions are my own. 

I grew up in a coastal Connecticut town. We had a Chart House Restaurant near by in New Haven. When I was a teenager a group of couples went there for Valentine's Day. 

There were four couples and being adolescents all of the girls (in the ladies room) decided to order "whole lobsters" We were certain that choosing "whole lobsters" would impress our dates and demonstrate that we knew "A LOT" about seafood. 

Langostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce over Linguine- simplelivingeating.com

Lobster being the most expensive seafood on the menu would show the boys that "we girls" were grown-up and sophisticated. We were right. The boys were impressed. We were quite proud of ourselves until the "whole lobsters" arrived. None of us had bothered to ask if any of us knew how to EAT a "whole lobster." 

Langostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce over Linguine- simplelivingeating.com

This was before cell phones, so no one could go to the ladies room again, and google how to eat them. We had to wing it... and it was ugly. Lobster juice sprayed all over our new dresses and the boy's only ties. Our dates were true gentleman who only smirked a little as they helped us crack the claws.

Langostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce over Linguine: simplelivingeating.com

The other Doristas are making whole lobsters: Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster, but as you may have surmised I am whole lobster phobic as a result of this traumatic dining experience. Adolescent scars run deep, so I decided to make a poor man's lobster dish that didn't require cracking claws and squirting juices.

Langostinos are prawns that have a lobster flavor and they come de-shelled. The sauce I made has just a hint of vanilla and cardamon that are balanced with a touch of cayenne pepper. 

I served this to my husband and I with Mia Rosé. This delicate, floral wine did not over power such a gently seasoned dish, and it's the right color for Valentine's Day!

Mia Rosé from Freixenet: simplelivingeating.com

This recipe made with langostinos was a more economical meal for a family of four, but if you decide to make this aromatic dish for two on Valentine's Day I say go get a "whole lobster", but google first how to eat it!

Lagostino with Vanilla Cream Sauce

by Diane Balch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 24 ounces of Lagostino tails frozen ( 2 bags of Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cream
  • smidgen of cardamon
  • dash cayenne
  • dash of fresh grated vanilla bean
  • salt and pepper
  • Garnish: parsley, parmesan cheese.
1) Bring a large sauce pan of well salted water to a boil for the pasta.
2) Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a large skillet and get it bubbling.
3) Turn down the heat and add to the butter: cardamon, cayenne, vanilla, salt and pepper.
4) Whisk in cream.
5) Add frozen lagostino to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Mix it around. Lower heat and cover for a minute until the fish is just cooked through.
6) Add al dente pasta to the skillet. Mix it well and let it sit for about 5 minutes until most of the sauce is absorbed.
7) Serve garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.
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Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


  1. This is quite unique!! It looks fantastic and I'm quite curious regarding the vanilla cream sauce :)

    1. Yes, this sauce would go nicely over light fish like sole or tilapia.. the key is just to put a little so it's a hint of the vanilla.

  2. Love this idea for a buttery pasta sauce! I bet it was amazing!

  3. OK, your story is cracking me up! It always amazes me when lobster is served in fancy restaurants because it is so messy to eat. I like how you created a pasta dish out of this. I cooked shrimp in the leftover butter for another dinner, but served over rice. That didn't work, but I'll cook some pasta for the leftovers. Great idea.

    1. You are so right... why whole lobsters in a fancy restaurant. They should only be outdoor seafood shacks where you're where a bathing suit or shorts. Definitely pasta... works really well with the butter.

  4. I like your version of this dish - I have to say that cracking the lobster shell is not that easy, even with just a tail like me.

  5. Adorable story (laughing with you, of course) and definitely understand your opting out of lobster. What you really have me set on is the use of pasta with this. DUH. Yes, I am Italian but perhaps because I could not get my head around the lobster and vanilla combo...it never dawned on me. As we were eating it with all that precious butter I kept telling my guys that it felt wrong to not have bread or such to dip in because it felt like we were eating butter soup. Ok, not that bad but you get the idea. I make a shrimp dish from a Nana recipe and ended up tweaking it to serve over pasta so we can enjoy all the seasoned oil, yet still that lightbulb did not go on for me this round. Thanks for the enlightenment :)

    1. You are very welcome as a fellow Italian-American I am a bit concerned that you default pasta button didn't go off. I recommend watching Big Night and Moonstruck a few hundred times this weekend to reset it.

  6. Perfect with pasta, always my first choice. I think shrimp and pasta are a perfect match no matter the type of sauce.
    Enjoy this snowy weekend.

  7. Dear Diane, wonderful idea to be serveing the langostinos with a vanilla-cream sauce and pasta - looks very elegant and very romantic! I am not a whole lobster phobic but I just went with fresh prawns instead. Funny story indeed.
    Have a nice Sunday,

  8. Wonderful family story, it is what I like about your blog so much. I love the meal you decided to make. Our lobster tails, which my husband peeled, was much easier to eat. I will never order a whole lobster either. I had so much fun meeting fellow Doristas and I do hope we meet someday too. If you are ever in California...

    1. It seems so many of you are in CA and I'm never there. It is really far from NY. One never knows.

  9. Man, it's a good thing you didn't grow up in my mother's house. It would have been trouble, that lobster thing. And, she would have known that fact (that you ordered the most expensive thing on the menu) before you got home. I grew up in a town of 4000 with definitely no cell phones or computers but my folks always knew everything I did almost before I did it. Not good. Shrimp and pasta or scallops and pasta would is a great idea. Sorta like John's risotto which was fabulous with out spinach and lobster. Your dilemma with the whole lobsters made me laugh - I still couldn't break up a lobster successfully.

    1. I actually can open a lobster now, but I wasn't going to do it for 4 people... my daughter learned too, so when she goes out to a nice seafood restaurant she won't be embarrassed. As I mentioned before I did not grow up with the taboo of ordering an expensive item. Going out was rare so we were encourage to order anything we liked.

  10. Looks delicious love to try this vanilla cream sauce, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog Hop, pinning, tweeting, and sharing with google plus.

  11. Oh my Diane, I would be in a little bit of heaven with this dish! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. This looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  13. That. Story. Is kind of epic :-)
    I had Joe open all the lobsters... I knew that no good would come of me opening them all (and he had more than his share of lobster juice everywhere by the time he was done).
    Great variation.

  14. This looks gorgeous, Diane! I'll definitely have to try it with langostino! your story about eating whole lobster was a fun read. I often think what the heck did we do before the internet? Well, there certainly was a lot more winging it! :)

    1. Yup, thanks to the internet my daughter "appears" to be an expert at everything. Kinda of scary.


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