I just love the flavor of this sauce with the grilled shellfish.  At my market here in Houston, I am able to buy 4 oz lobster tails which are perfect for grilling.  The best way to prepare them is to butterfly the shell, and crack it open a bit so you can season and baste the tails on the grill.  The sauce is actually very easy and quick to prepare.  If you don’t have lobster, you could easily substitute with extra shrimp or even scallops.  The lobster requires a little bit of effort to remove from the shell at meal time.  Another option would be to remove the lobster meat from the shells, just before serving if you didn’t want to overburden your diners.  The lobster, once grilled comes out of the shell rather easily, but it can be a bit messy, so have some extra napkins or towelettes on hand!  Either way, it’s delicious!

Serves 4


for lobster and shrimp:

  • 4 4oz lobster tails
  • 12-16 large gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
  • kosher salt and pepper

for pasta and sauce:

  • 8 oz linguine
  • 4 cups san Marzano tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cup sweet marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 large bunch basil, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


for sauce:

Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat.  Add shallots and sauté until fragrant and translucent (about 4 minutes). Add tomatoes to pan and turn up the heat and allow tomatoes to sizzle and sear on one side, gently toss them once or twice (about 5 minutes) until evenly seared.  As they begin to release their juices and are golden on the outside, add marsala and allow it to burn off.  Simmer an additional couple of minutes, reduce heat and add cream.  Stir gently to incorporate cream, remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

for shellfish:

Preheat your grill to 375.  Using a kitchen scissors, cut the inner shell of lobster tail down the middle and do your best to open the shell as much as possible.  Season flesh generously with old bay seasoning.  Season both sides of the shrimp with the old bay seasoning as well.  Melt the butter with the olive oil and season mixture with a bit of salt and pepper.  Using a pastry brush, baste the lobster flesh and the shrimp with the butter-oil combination.  Lay tails on grill cut side down for 8 minutes, flattening them as best you can.  Then flip them so flesh side up, basting again with the marinade.  The tails are ready when they begin to curl and the shell will appear bright red.  Sear the shrimp for about 4 minutes per side basting well before flipping.  Remove from grill and keep warm.

Assemble dish:

While seafood is grilling, prepare pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Reserve about a half a cup of cooking liquid.  Drain pasta and toss with sauce adding basil and reserved cooking liquid if you need to loosen the sauce.  Place grilled shellfish on top of pasta and additional fresh basil as desired, serve immediately and enjoy!