Dishes to Impress Your Friends: Homemade Lobster Ravioli
Everyone who cooks has at least one recipe that’s their show-stopper. It’s that impressive dish you wheel out when friends come over for dinner — one you want to show off. The more recipes you know, the more you can flaunt your cooking skills. Today, we’re going to add one more to your culinary arsenal — a recipe that’s the perfect balance of richness and bright sparks of sour and fresh flavors.
The recipe is for homemade lobster ravioli, which takes a classic Italian meal and adds a touch of fine dining. It may sound difficult to do, but once we break it down, anyone can make this decadent dish. We’ll cover how to make the lemon pasta, mix the lobster filling, form and cook the raviolis, and make the pesto sauce!
This recipe can be a little involved, since it’s totally from scratch, but it’s very worth it. With that in mind, we’ll keep our write-up about the recipe shorter than usual. If you want to learn more about making homemade pasta dough, check out “Cooking for Beginners: Making Homemade Pasta.” The other important flavors to note are those which will cut some of the richness from this dish. Between the salt, lobster, and butter — you need something to balance out the flavors. That’s why we’ve added several notes of lemon to the recipe. Between the lemon pasta, the lemon zest and juice in the filling, and the lemon pesto sauce — there are just enough hints of sour to enhance the richness of the other ingredients without overpowering them. The fresh herbaceousness of the pesto also contributes to this essential balance of flavors.
The other important flavors are those that balance the recipe’s richness — primarily the lemon and fresh herbs.
We should also discuss making homemade ravioli, which is a little harder than making regular pasta. The steps leading up to making a sheet of pasta is the same. But, after this, instead of feeding it back through the pasta machine to be cut, lay down one sheet of pasta. Next, mentally split the sheet into 4-inch squares and place roughly a tablespoon of filling into the center of each square. Gently wet the edges around the filling with water and lay the other sheet of pasta dough over the first sheet with the filling. Carefully press around the filling to remove pockets of air, before firmly pressing the edges to make the two sheets stick together. Cut the individual raviolo (the -i in Italian is plural!) free. You’ve just made ravioli from scratch! You could also use a ravioli maker, so they are uniform and even if you want a shortcut.
Lemon Pasta Recipe
- 1 1/4 cup and 1 tbsp of Semolina flour
- 8 tbsp of all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp of lemon zest
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 2 pinches of salt and pepper
- Read “Cooking for Beginners: Making Homemade Pasta” for more details.
- Mix the Semolina flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper.
- Mix the eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl.
- On a large cutting board, make a mound of the flour mixture and form a well.
- Pour the egg mixture into the well.
- Using a fork, slowly move the fork in a clockwise motion, adding a little bit of flour mixture into the egg.
- Combine the two mixtures until it creates a sticky dough and then use your hands to knead it.
- Sprinkle the dough with a little flour (you can always add more) and continue kneading until the dough becomes firm and putty-like.
- Put the dough into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (optional).
- Flatten the dough into a rectangle with your hands, then fold it over by thirds and send it through the pasta machine at the lowest setting (e.g., setting 1).
- Lightly dust the dough with flour, fold it into thirds, turn it 90 degrees, and feed it through pasta machine on the lowest setting again.
- Repeat steps 10 and 11 two more times, then turn the pasta machine to the next setting (e.g., setting 2), and send the dough through again.
- Cut the dough into 10- to 12-inch sheets.
- Turn the pasta machine to the next setting (e.g., setting 3) and feed the dough through.
- Go to the fourth setting (e.g. setting 4) and feed the dough through again.
- Send the dough through the machine for settings 5, 6 and 7.
- Cut the dough into 10- to 12-inch long, four- to five-inch wide sheets.
Steamed Lobster Tail Recipe
- 4 lobster tails
- 2 tbsp of salt
- ½ tbsp of dried parsley
- ½ tbsp of dried oregano
- ½ tbsp of dried basil
- Add two inches of water to a large pot.
- Stir in the salt and dried herbs.
- Place a steaming rack in the pot.
- Place the lobster tails on the rack.
- Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot.
- Allow to steam for eight minutes, until the tails turn bright red.
Lemon Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup of pine nuts
- ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp of diced garlic
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp of lemon zest
- 2 tsp of lemon juice
- Add ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse until it’s reached the desired texture. Pulse less for coarser pesto and more for creamier pesto.
- Taste and add extra ingredients to reach your preferred flavor. For example, add more olive oil if your pesto is too dry or to make it smoother. Add pine nuts to make the pesto creamier. Parmesan cheese will make the pesto saltier.
Lobster Filling Recipe
- 4 lobster tails, de-shelled and finely chopped
- 1 ½ sticks (12 tbsp) of butter
- 2 tbsp of diced garlic
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 tbsp of dried parsley
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- 1 cup of ricotta
- ¼ cup of chopped spinach or kale
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add butter to a deep stainless-steel pan over medium heat (stainless steel makes it easier to watch for browning).
- Whisk the butter until it bubbles and brown bits appear; roughly two to four minutes.
- Once brown bits appear, remove from heat immediately and whisk for a few more seconds, to keep butter from burning.
- Add garlic and finely chopped lobster and stir for one minute.
- Add kale or spinach, parsley, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and pepper.
- Add ricotta and lemon zest to taste.
- Set aside.
Lobster Ravioli Recipe
- Make the pesto and set aside.
- Make lemon pasta dough and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the filling and set aside.
- Follow the rest of the pasta recipe to make pasta sheets.
- Lay out one pasta sheet and place a tablespoon of lobster filling at four-inch intervals.
- Make sure there’s at least one-inch of dough on each side of the filling.
- Once you’ve laid out the filling, lightly wet the dough surrounding the filling.
- Cover the pasta and filling with another sheet of dough.
- Gently press around the dough to remove any air pockets.
- Once the air pockets are mostly gone, firmly press the dough around the filling together, so they stick.
- With a pasta cutter, cut the pasta and filling pockets into roughly four-inch squares.
- Sprinkle lightly with flour.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the raviolis.
- Allow them to boil until they float to the top of the water.
- Add your pesto sauce to a large pan and warm over low heat.
- Add raviolis to the pan, toss in the sauce to coat, and serve with a lemon wedge as a garnish.