European spiny lobster

Palinurus elephas, or the Noble Crustacean, as the Italians call it. They like to buy them still alive, and grill them, boil them or put them in risottos or pasta dishes (often paired with asparagus, as in this recipe).

In Sardinia, notably in Alghero where they still speak a little Catalan after centuries of domination by Barcelona, they make a delicious aragosta alla catalana: cooked lobster cut into chunks, served with sweet onions and sun-ripened tomatoes in an olive oil and lemon dressing.

Also called aragusta.

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