Lobster bolognese at Oceana

Bill Telepan’s Zero-Waste Lobster Bolognese

Chefs are always taught not to waste anything and use everything up, from putting vegetable scraps into stocks to using bones for sauces.

As executive chef of Oceana in Midtown Manhattan, I see many opportunities to use items that may be thrown away and make them into something delicious. For example, we always use the cooking liquid from our octopus dish in a vinaigrette. We’ll take the trimmings from our salmon and make a ceviche for our bar menu. Early on we’re taught how to be creative with everything we have.

There is one dish that I have been using for years that I didn’t realize was re-using potential waste: my lobster Bolognese. This is a very popular dish I served at my previous restaurant, Telepan, and brought with me to Oceana. It wasn’t until I became ICE’s director of sustainability that I realized the lobster was completely used for one dish. We use the bodies to make a stock that we use for the sauce. We cook and chop the claws and knuckles to put in the sauce. And we roast the tail and place that on top when we serve it. The lobster is completely used with no waste.

This is a great, sustainable dish to try in 2019, and you can feel good knowing nothing is wasted!


Lobster Bolognese


  • 2 1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2-pound lobster
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce can tomato, squeezed dry and chopped very fine
  • 4 ounces white wine
  • 1 ounce white wine vinegar
  • 6 ounces white lobster or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons minced herbs, preferably tarragon, chervil, parsley, dill and/or chives


  1. Ask your butcher to break apart the lobster into head, claws and tail.
  2. Separate the tail and claws from the head and set aside.
  3. Open up the head by pulling the bottom leg down halfway from top. Scrape away and discard the feathery lungs and insides from the head and using a chef’s knife, then chop the head into small pieces.
  4. Place the heads in a pot with the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, set aside for 15 minutes, then strain and reserve.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add enough vinegar to flavor the water and salt to taste like the sea. Let water return to a rolling boil, add lobster tail and claws, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered. Watch carefully and do not let the water come to a boil again. The pot should bubble occasionally but not simmer. Cook lobster tail for 5 minutes and claws for 7 minutes. Remove from liquid and cool. Shell the tail, knuckles and claws.
  6. Sweat shallots and garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add wine and vinegar until reduced almost dry, about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Bring lightly salted water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook for 7-8 minutes. Add to sauce with butter and cook until butter is incorporated into sauce. Add lobster meat warm on medium heat and sprinkle with herbs. (To feel even better about the dish, grow your own herbs!)

See Chef Bill demo the recipe at ICE's "Waste Not" event with the James Beard Foundation in January and find more sustainability tips on DICED.

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