Lobster Ravioli (Ravioli all’Astice)

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You could probably consider ravioli to be my signature dish. I love serving those delicate parcels that burst with flavor.  When Auldo and Teun came over for lobster bisque, I used one of the leftover lobster tails (and a bit of the stock) to make lobster ravioli. They were nice, but not spectacular. I proceeded to make lobster ravioli a few more times to get them just right. The first two times I added potato to the filling, which is often used in seafood ravioli, and I tried both chopped and pureed lobster in the filling. The second time I used a reduced stock for the sauce, which turned out bitter. The third time I added shallots to the filling to enhance the flavor, but the shallots overpowered the lobster. That time I cooked the ravioli in the stock, which was nice. It was my fourth effort last night that turned out delicious. Oh we have such a hard life as guinea pigs, having to eat lobster ravioli every week 😉

This time I used half of the lobster stock to cook the ravioli, and I reduced half of the stock for the sauce. The stuffing was mostly just lobster, pureed, including the tomalley for added flavor. These lobster ravioli are very delicate and elegant but full of flavor at the same time. The sauce is just as delicate, but creamy at the same time. This is how I will make lobster ravioli from now on. Yet one more wonderful ravioli recipe to choose from.

Ingredients

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Not all of the ingredients are shown, as I was making this up as I went

For about 25 ravioli, 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings as an appetizer

1 live lobster of 600 grams (1.3 lbs)

about 100 grams (1 1/4 cup) Italian 00 flour

2 eggs

200 grams (7 oz) vine-ripened cherry tomatoes

4 basil leaves

1 Tbsp heavy cream

150 ml (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) dry white wine

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp (clarified) butter

salt and cayenne pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves

For the stock

2 litres (2.1 quarts) water

1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 bay leaf

black pepper corns

Preparation

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Start with the stock. Put the water in a stock pot with the chopped aromatic vegetables, bay leaf, and pepper corns.

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Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer over low heat, covered,  for half an hour or so.

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Meanwhile, deal with the lobster.

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Twist off the tail, the claws and the legs. Cut the body of the lobster in half. Reserve the tomalley (that is the green stuff, the liver of the lobster) in a bowl.

Remove all the other stuff (especially the gills and the stomach sack) from the lobster body.

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Add the claws, legs, and tail to the simmering stock.

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Simmer the tail for 1 minute and the claws and legs for 8 minutes.

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Remove the tail after 1 minute and plunge it in cold water to stop the cooking.

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Cut the tail in half to remove the lobster meat. Chop it coarsely and reserve. Reserve the shells separately.

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After 8 minutes, extract the claws and the legs from the stock and plunge them in cold water to cool.

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Extract the meat from the legs using a rolling pin. Make sure the end of the leg that used to be attached to the body is open. Start from the other end (the ‘toes’) of each leg and roll towards the open end, pressing down firmly. The lobster meat will be forced out. Add the meat to that of the tail and reserve the shells.

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Extract the meat from the claws (including the knuckles) as well. Reserve the shells.

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Chop all the lobster meat and reserve.

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You will have a nice collection of lobster shells.

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic clove. Tilt the pan to cook the garlic clove until it is golden on all sides. Discard the garlic.

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Add the chopped lobster meat to the garlic-infused oil and sauté for a minute.

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Deglaze the pan with 2 Tbsp (3o ml) dry white wine.

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Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to get all the flavor.

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Cook over low heat until most of the wine has evaporated. Put the lobster meat with all of the juices in the bowl of the food processor and allow to cool.

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I cooked the tomalley separately over low heat.

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Next time I will just cook it along with the lobster meat.

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Sauté the lobster shells in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute or so. Do not allow the shells to burn, as that would make the stock bitter.

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Deglaze with 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine.

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Add the lobster shells and the wine to the stock pot.

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Allow to simmer for half an hour, not longer as simmering the lobster shells too long may lead to a bitter stock.

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Add the white of one of the eggs to the lobster meat in the food processor. Reserve the egg yolk for the pasta dough.

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Add the tomalley as well. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.

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Puree the lobster meat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. With ravioli you should always add slightly more salt to the filling than you think when you taste it, to make the filling stand out.  (If you are worried about eating the raw egg, you could always cook a bit of the stuffing before tasting it.)

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Put the stuffing in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to firm up in the refrigerator.

Make pasta dough from the egg, egg yolk, and flour. You may have to use more or less flour, depending on the size of the eggs. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.

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After half an hour of simmering, the lobster stock will be ready.

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Sieve the stock twice. First with a colander to remove the big solids, then with a fine sieve.

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Reserve half of the stock for cooking the ravioli later on. Put the other half in a wide shallow pan and simmer it to reduce it to about 60 ml (1/4 cup) over low heat.

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Once the pasta dough has rested and the lobster filling has firmed up, roll out the dough very thin and make ravioli with about a teaspoon of filling in each using my instructions for making ravioli.

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Bring the reserved lobster stock to a boil and add a tablespoon of salt.

For the sauce, melt the (clarified) butter in a frying pan. Add the garlic clove and tilt the pan until the garlic is golden. Discard the garlic.

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Cut the cherry tomatoes in half (which is very quick and easy using the trick described in this post) and add them to the garlic-infused butter.

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Allow to cook for a minute.

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Deglaze with 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine.

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Add a tablespoon of heavy cream…

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…and the lobster stock reduction.

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Stir and reduce the heat to very low.

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Cook the ravioli in the boiling lobster stock for a couple of minutes.

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Once they are cooked, which happens very quickly, take them out of the pot with a slotted spoon…

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…and add them to the sauce.

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Very gently toss the ravioli with the sauce, making sure not to rupture the ravioli and trying not to break up the tomatoes.

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Serve the ravioli with the sauce on warm plates, sprinkled with basil chiffonade. (Do not even dare to consider adding grated cheese to this!)

Wine pairing

This king of a dish asks for a king of a wine, such as a good ripe and buttery Meursault or Chassagne-Montrachet. Another oaked buttery chardonnay would work as well.

Flashback


I often prepare fennel risotto with sea bream (or sea bass) for dinner. The head and bones of the fish as well as the trimmings of the fennel can be used to make the stock for the risotto and the combination of the creamy risotto with the tender but al dente fennel works very well with the tender fish with crispy skin.

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27 thoughts on “Lobster Ravioli (Ravioli all’Astice)

  1. Stefan, you really are a perfectionist! You went through all these steps four times! The end result does look amazing though. Well done and thanks for sharing the step by step instructions…

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  2. Good trick with the rolling pin … ending up with bitter stock is also interesting. I must have always been fortunate to simmer for relatively short periods. Good to know…

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    1. I am not completely sure what causes it exactly. One time I thought I may have sauteed the shells for too long, but another time I didn’t sauté them at all and it still turned out bitter.

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  3. [laughing] Now to be able to afford live lobster: we may be a ‘fishy nation’ but they cost a fortune! Love the perfected simplicity of your recipe – pure classicism . . . and like Sybaritica, I am glad to have the rolling pin ‘method’ as we normally just bash all those small parts to bits, which ends us with shell fragments almost impossible to remove 100% !!

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    1. Thanks Conor. It brought back great memories for us, too. Your shot of me dealing with a lobster is worthy of a Tarantino movie. We are looking forward to your next visit 🙂

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  4. What a great dish, Stefan! There’s so much to love about this dish, like including the tomalley. That has to up the flavor factor. I also like the sauce you created. I really enjoy cherry tomatoes and have them in my garden just for sauces. Using lobster stock in the sauce is a very good idea. This is a special dish, one that is a true reflection of how you care for your dinner guests.

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