Carmen Quagliata, chef of Union Square Cafe in New York City, came by our Test Kitchen to show us a thing or two about making ravioli (watch the video). In his bright pasta dish, tender ravioli are filled with a sweet pea purée before getting tossed with chunks of lobster in a rich lobster stock. It’s a light and vibrant dish that’s easy enough for first-time ravioli makers.
Making fresh pasta requires quick hands and careful attention to the dough. Once you roll out your sheets, keep them under a damp cloth. This will keep the dough elastic and prevent it from drying out. Then when you are sealing the ravioli, make sure you brush only one sheet with the egg wash. Wet doesn’t stick to wet, so if you want your pasta to stay together, make sure one sheet is untouched by egg or water.
Sweet Pea Ravioli with Lobster
Recipe adapted from Carmen Quagliata, Union Square Cafe, New York, NY
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus resting and cooling time
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, plus resting and cooling time
For the Lobster Stock:
10 cups water
One 1-to-2-pound lobster
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
⅓ cup roughly chopped yellow onion
⅓ cup roughly chopped carrot
⅓ cup roughly chopped celery
2 tablespoons white wine
For the Pasta Dough:
1½ cups, plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
1½ cups, plus 2 tablespoons, durum wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, plus 3 yolks, divided
1 tablespoon water
For the Sweet Pea Filling:
3 cups (1 pound) fresh sweet peas, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon shallots, minced
⅓ cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
½ tablespoon lemon zest
Kosher salt, to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup reserved peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Reduced lobster stock
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Make the lobster stock: In a medium stock pot, bring the water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. On a cutting board, twist off the tail, claws and knuckles from the lobster. Cut the lobster body in half, discard the black roe sack and set aside. Add the tail, claws and knuckles to the boiling water, and cook until bright red, 3 minutes. Remove the lobster parts from the water and transfer to the prepared ice bath, reserving the cooking liquid. When the lobster parts have fully cooled, remove the meat from the shells and cut into ½-inch pieces, reserving both the meat and the shells separately.
2. In a medium stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the reserved lobster body halves and sauté until bright red, 5 minutes. Add the reserved shells with the onions, carrots and celery, then cook until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Add the wine and the reserved lobster cooking liquid, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the lobster stock, discarding the solids, and return the liquid back to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to ½ cup of liquid, 40 to 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the pasta dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, mix together the all-purpose flour, durum flour and salt. With the motor running, add 5 of the eggs, the egg yolks and the water to the flour mixture. Knead until a dough comes together, then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead again until a smooth dough forms. Shape the dough into a round disc, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Make the sweet pea filling: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add all but ¼ cup of the peas and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the peas to a blender. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat until translucent, 5 minutes. Transfer the peas to the blender with the remaining filling ingredients. Blend the mixture until smooth, then let cool completely. Transfer to a piping bag.
5. Roll out the pasta: Cut the pasta dough into quarters and pass each quarter through a pasta roller on its widest setting. Continue to roll out to a ⅛-inch thickness, rolling twice on each setting before getting thinner. Cut the long sheets of pasta into 10-by-6-inch rectangles. Stack the pasta sheets with parchment in between each sheet and cover with a damp cloth.
6. Place 1 sheet of the pasta on a clean surface and pipe about 8 tablespoons of filling on the dough in a row on the bottom half of the sheet, ½ inch away from the edge and 1 inch apart. Beat the remaining egg and brush around the dots of filling. Place another sheet of pasta over the filling and use your fingers to seal the edges, making sure not to trap any air. Once sealed, either cut out the ravioli into squares using a fluted pastry cutter or into circles with a 2-inch fluted ring cutter.
7. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the ravioli and cook until tender, 6 to 7 minutes, then strain.
8. Assemble the dish: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the reserved peas, lemon juice and reduced lobster stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the peas are vibrant green and tender, 3 minutes. Add the cooked ravioli and lobster meat, and cook until the lobster is warmed through, 2 minutes, tossing to coat. Season with salt, transfer to a platter and serve.
*This article was originally published on 06/21/2016 by Tasting Table editors. The restaurant, chef and/or recipe are in no way affiliated with or endorsing the featured sponsor.