Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time:20 minutes
1 lb/450 g short cut pasta - I used oreccheti but elbow or baby shells works well too
9 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb/450 g cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley plus extra for garnish at serving
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
4 oz/113 g Brie, rind removed and chopped
1/4 tsp mustard powder (I like Keens)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F/176C Grease a 2.5 quart/3 litre baking dish (a little butter or cooking spray)
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil Add pasta and cook until slightly under al dente (check your package for timing). Remember that it will continue to cook and absorb liquid while baking. Drain well and set aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, add 3 tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds or until you get that wonderful fragrance. Add the lobster meat and saute 3-5 minutes. Add parsley and continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove lobster mixture from pan and set aside.
4. Using the same skillet melt another 2 tbsp butter. Add the crushed crackers and toss to coat. Toast crumbs until golden (3 minutes or so). Stir frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. In the same pot you boiled the pasta, melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk and raise heat to medium high. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in all the cheeses, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheeses have completely melted. Stir in the pasta and about 3/4 of the lobster mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
6. Evenly sprinkle the remaining lobster chunks and then cover with the toasted cracker crumbs. Place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet (to catch potential spillage - there is nothing more annoying than cleaning cheesy spills off the racks and bottom of the oven.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
8. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.