Lobster and Pancetta Cream Sauce

Really, anything could precede the title of this post and it would have my attention.  It should read…Clams and Mussels with Lobster and Pancetta Cream Sauce. But, that is too long for a post title so I figured I would have your attention easy enough with just the sauce.  Pancetta cream sauce on anything would be wonderful._Y7A5292

I wasn’t planning to write a post today.  We didn’t take a single picture, these images are from another time when we made clams and mussels.  So, sorry I don’t have any images that show the lobster or pancetta.  We were enjoying the moment, celebrating New Year’s Eve.clams_tableanddish

When I woke up this morning I thought I had better write down every step I took to make our meal last night.  We’ve made this dish many times, but last night I added a few things to make it extra special for New Year’s eve.  Everyone loved it so much I thought I’d better write it down before I forget and I’m unable to duplicate it.  

This is the problem with many of the recipes I share.  I cook like my grandmother and my great-grandmother with a pinch of this and a dab of that and it’s usually never the same twice.  The dish we had last night we will want to have again and again leaving nothing to chance.

To any chefs of any experience who might have happened upon my humble recipe blog, I know that there are several ways to make this dish. I know I could’ve made a rue with the butter instead of the liquid. I know there are technical errors in my method. The pancetta cream sauce on the muscles at The Water Buffalo restaurant in Milwaukee Wisconsin is thicker and silkier.  When it’s on the back of a spoon you could draw a line through it with your finger.  I did not attain that in this sauce.  The flavor was there but not the consistency.  I wonder if I had let it reduce longer if it would’ve achieved the proper thickness.     I was afraid of the sauce breaking so I didn’t take any risks. All in all, the end result was incredible.

If you have any pointers or things that work well for you when you make this and you want to share them in the comments I would love to hear what you have to say. These recipes are being handed down to my children and when I’m gone I hope that through other people’s comments and suggestions they are able to improve on everything that I’ve ever made for them._Y7A5102clams2tableanddish


 Clams and Mussels with Lobster and Pancetta Cream Sauce


  • 5 pounds of littleneck clams
  • 5 pounds mussels washed and cleaned
  • 5 small lobster tails 
  • 6- 1/4 inch slices of pancetta chopped into cubes
  • one large Shallot
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • one pint of heave cream
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle of white wine


Add the lobster tails to boiling salted water.  Cook until the tail shells turn bright red 6 to 8 minutes. Before draining reserve 2 cups of the lobster water.

Drain and set lobster tails aside, when cool remove the meat from the shells. I do this using a pair of kitchen shears and cutting from the larger and all the way to the tip of the tail and then breaking it open to reveal the meat. Chop into large chunks and set aside.

In a different large heavy bottom stock pot, add chopped garlic and chopped shallot to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook slowly until translucent. Add the diced pancetta. Cook until crisp do not let this burn. Remove pancetta and set aside.

In the same pan add one half bottle of white wine. I use Chardonnay but you can use whatever you enjoy drinking.

Add 2 cups of the lobster water and bring this mixture to a boil.

Add the clams, cover, let’s steam about three minutes peek inside the pot when the clams are open they are done. With a slotted spoon remove the clams and put them into a large serving bowl.

Add a bit more wine if necessary there should be at least 1 inch of liquid at the bottom of the pan. Repeat the procedure with the muscles. When they are open remove them from the pan and add them to the large serving bowl.

Toss the lobster meat on top of the clams and mussels in the serving ball.

To the steam pot, add the pancetta and one stick of butter. Simmer. Use some of the liquid and 2 tablespoons of flour to make a rue in a separate pan. Add this back to the simmering liquid.

Simmer to reduce, add 1 pint of heavy cream, whisking as it simmers. Add the diced tomatoes and chopped parsley. Pour the liquid over all the clams muscles and lobster in the serving bowl.
Serve with warm crusty bread to dip into the sauce.  Make sure you have an empty bowl on the table for shells.

Serves six-eight 


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