I have just invested in a new, top of the range pasta making machine, and I must say I am so happy with this purchase! Compared to the one I had before, it rolls the pasta to a silky, almost transparent texture, which is perfect for making stuffed pasta such as ravioli (in case you are wondering, the make is Marcato). I have chosen to christen my new pasta making machine by making these luscious ravioli with a prawn and lobster stuffing, drizzled with a rich lobster bisque-like sauce. A real treat, if you are a seafood lover like me!
INGREDIENTS (for two people)
For the fresh pasta
- Follow the recipe from my previous post, though omitting the semolina and using 200 gr of 00 flour instead
- A 400 - 600 gr lobster (cooked. If you are poaching it yourself, make sure you kill it humanely first and then cook it in boiling water for no longer than 8 minutes). You will be using the shell for the sauce, and the meat for the ravioli filling
- One small carrot, chopped
- One small white onion, chopped
- One small celery stick, chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 50 gr of butter
- One teaspoon of tomato purée
- A splash of double cream
- A glass of white wine
- 300 ml of chicken stock
- One tablespoon of chopped parsley
- One tablespoon of chopped basil
- Salt and pepper
For the filling
- 100 gr raw shelled prawns
- The meat from the cooked lobster mentioned above
- A splash of double cream
- Freshly ground pepper and salt
Pick the meat out of the cooked lobster (tail and claws), reserving it for later. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the lobster shells for five minutes; then add the chopped carrot, onion and celery, stirring well, and allow them to soften for a further five minutes.
Now add the tomato purée, mix it in with the vegetables and pour in the white wine, turning the heat up to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Finally add the chicken stock, bring to a gentle simmer, cover the pan with the lid and let the sauce cook for ten minutes. After this time has passed, fish out the lobster shells and transfer the vegetables and liquid to a food processor. Whizz it to a purée, and strain it again trough a sieve into a clean bowl (pressing it down with the back of a spoon) to ensure no bits of shells are left behind. Now add a knob of butter to the same frying pan you have used for the sauce, which will now be empty, and turn the heat up. Quickly fry the quartered cherry tomatoes at a high heat, stirring constantly, for about four minutes or until they resemble a pulp. Now add the lobster sauce you had reserved and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes, or until reduced to a thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper, cover it with a lid and reserve it for later. The big job is now done, but you will still have to add a couple of finishing touches to your sauce before serving it on the pasta.
Now it's the time to make your ravioli. Note: these should be prepared shortly before you intend to serve them, and kept covered with a damp kitchen towel while they are waiting to be cooked, to prevent them from drying. The good news is you can still make them in advance if you are planning to serve them at a dinner party - all you'll have to do is freeze them. You can do so by placing them on a tray, leaving enough space between each dumpling to avoid them sticking together, and freeze them for 20 minutes or until hard enough for you to be able to transfer them to a plastic bag without breaking them. If you are freezing the ravioli in this recipe, ensure that the raw prawns you are using have not been previously frozen, as it is not safe to defrost, then freeze again food.
Make the filling by simply whizzing the prawns, lobster meat, salt, pepper and a splash of cream in a food processor until you have a thick paste.
Roll the pasta to the highest setting in your machine, i.e. as thin as you can get it, and spoon a little ball of filling on the sheet, leaving about 6 cm of space between each of them.
Cover these with another sheet of pasta of similar size, pressing all around the filling with your index and medium fingers, to squeeze out the air and seal the edges.
Using a ravioli cutter (or alternative a knife), cut around the filling, leaving about 2 cm around the edges.
Put the ravioli on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel while you are making the rest. Roll up any leftover pasta dough from your previous batch into a ball and feed it through the pasta machine to make a new sheet. Repeat until you have used up all the filling. Any pasta dough you have left can be used up to make tagliatelle or whatever other format of pasta your machine allows you to.
Bring 1 and 1/2 litres of salted water to the boil and gently lower the ravioli in (don't overcrowd the pan, do this in two or three batches). Cover with a lid and let them cook for three minutes, then fish them out with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper. Keep warm while you are cooking the rest.
In the meantime, put the finishing touches to your lobster sauce by gently warming it through again, thickening it with a little double cream and adding chopped parsley and basil. Taste it to check the seasoning and adjust it if necessary. Drizzle it over the cooked ravioli and serve them immediately. This dish does require a little effort but there is no doubt that it is worth it!