Usually I’m the person who wants to get in and out of the grocery story as quickly as possible. I know what I want, I know where it is, and that’s that. Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like exploring everything, so naturally I ended up with a live lobster in my cart. Makes sense, right? (Note sarcasm.) There were two 13-ish year old boys who were fascinated by the live lobster being removed from the tank. They took a video of the employee removing it, and asked me what I was going to do with it. I’m probably on their Snapchat (whatever that is) or Instagram or something, along with Fred the 1.35lb lobster.
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I felt a little guilty about what would be Fred’s fate later in the evening, and kind of wanted to keep him as a pet. But that wasn’t going to happen because I knew he’d be delicious. And don’t ask me why I named him Fred. It just seemed to fit.
I also had some filets in my cart, so I could’ve easily don’t filet and lobster tail. I had filet for dinner two nights ago, though, so I didn’t really want to do that again. I did, however, answer a fellow shopper’s question, “You look like you know what you’re doing. [Pointing at tenderloin steak] I’m looking for filet mignon. Is this it?” … followed by a short cooking lesson because she didn’t know how to make it. I also directed some other shoppers to the tortilla strips. Maybe a sign I’m in Wegmans too much?
So why bother cooking a live lobster for ravioli instead of just getting lobster meat? A lot of work, right? Seriously, you could just buy lobster meat, or even buy some frozen lobster tails and cook those for this recipe. Also, a lot of grocery stores sell sheets of pasta in the refrigerated section, so you can always buy those too instead of making your own if you don’t have a pasta roller or are short on time. But I wanted to go all out on this recipe and do everything from scratch.
- 1 Lobster (approx. 1¼ lbs)
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
- 2 sprigs tarragon finely minced
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
Cook the Lobster
- Humanely kill your lobster. (See Notes section for more information)
- Once you’ve humanely killed your lobster, you’ll want to boil it for about 7 minutes. I considered cooking him for less time since it would get some additional cooking when the ravioli cooks, but I didn’t want to take the risk of undercooked lobster. It’s cut into small pieces for the filling anyway, so the rubbery texture (if overcooked) would not be as noticeable.
- Combine the ricotta, asiago, tarragon, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the lobster meat from the shell, and chop it into small pieces. Wait for it to cool before stirring it into the filling. Cover the filling and set aside.
- Preheat a saute pan over medium heat.
- Add butter and melt.
- Add shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the shallots start to become translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add flour to the pan to make a roux. Keep stirring so the flour doesn’t burn. You’ll likely have paste-like gobs of flour-shallot-garlic, which is OK. Cook for a few minutes until the roux gets blond.
- Add heavy cream and stock tomatoes. Bring to a boil (stirring the whole time so the cream doesn’t burn), add tomatoes, then reduce to a simmer. Your sauce should be starting to thicken.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the shallots and tomatoes. I left some tomato chunks because I didn’t want it them entirely liquified. Add salt to taste.
- Keep sauce warm on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Scoop flour onto work surface. Make a well in the center. Add salt.
- Add one egg and start to incorporate with a fork. Be careful not to kill the walls of your well or it’ll get unnecessarily messy fast!
- Continue to add eggs one at a time, incorporating more of the flour after each one. Add the olive oil, continue to incorporate everything until it becomes doughy. You will get your hands dirty. You will reach a point where it’s clear you can’t do any more with the fork and you just need to use your hands.
- Once you have a dough ball, knead, knead, knead for several minutes.
- Roll out the pasta dough and put it through the pasta machine. Start on the widest setting and work your way thinner. I went to #6 (out of 8) on the KitchenAid pasta roller. Lay out sheets on a lightly floured surface.
- Add filling at even intervals down the middle of a dough sheet. How much filling you need will depend on the size of the ravioli you are making.
- Lay another piece of dough over the top. Press to seal all around the filling.
- Cut out the shapes using a pastry wheel or ravioli stamp. Set them aside on a lightly floured surface.
- Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
- Cook ravioli for about 6 minutes. To check for doneness, test an edge since this is the thickest part that takes longest to cook.
- Use a spider spoon to transfer the ravioli to the pan with the sauce. Let them cook together for a few minutes.
- Transfer to a plate or bowl for serving. Top with grated parmesan (optional).