Ingredients

2 ounces butter, unsalted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon shallots, chopped
16 ounces cooked lobster meat
4 ounces cooked snow crabmeat
2 ounces cognac
2 ounces ricotta
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
Egg white, slightly beaten

Directions

1. Add butter, garlic and shallots to a sauté pan and cook until softened over medium heat.
2. Add lobster and crabmeat and stir.
3. Add Cognac and stir. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add ricotta to the mixture and incorporate either with a spoon or preferably by hand.
5. Cut to size and lay out sheets of pasta dough over ravioli press. Indent ravioli spaces and stuff with lobster stuffing mixture.
6. Brush all surfaces of the filled pasta sheet with egg white mixture.
7. Cut another sheet of pasta and cover first sheet. Using a rolling pin, press top sheet firmly over the first to bond them where they touch.
8. Remove finished raviolis carefully onto a parchment paper or other non-stick surface.

Either cook, refrigerate, or freeze the raviolis for future use. Try serving with Crabmeat Seafood Sauce or other favorite ravioli sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Smith, Changing Tides Gift Shop, ACE Hardware, 2011

Stephanie Smith of Changing Tides recommends using fresh boiled lobster as the main ingredient but recognizes that many of us do not have the time or inclination to boil the lobster ourselves. There are, fortunately, two other good choices. First, many seafood stores sell fresh picked lobster, but this will be the most expensive option. She has found that there are also fresh-frozen options in the supermarket that will work well for this recipe, mainly because the lobster is being used as a filling instead of on a salad or in a roll. The combination of tastes in the stuffing and topping the ravioli with rich crab seafood sauce more than makes up for not having perfectly fresh cooked lobster meat.

What really makes this recipe special is what Stephanie calls her “secret ingredient” that is used in the stuffing and seafood sauce – Cognac. She recommends only using the best Cognac, as it plays such an important role in how the dish ends up tasting. The other tricks to making this one of the best meals is the Crabmeat Seafood Sauce and the fresh made pasta, both of which she shows you how to make in the companion video recipes.

Lobster is available year round but during tourist season in the summer demand is highest. (But of course if you are using the frozen variety this should not matter.) The majority of landings take place from June through October and lobster is the most valuable species caught in Massachusetts waters.

The type of lobster used in New England is called the American Lobster, and it is fished from Canada to New Jersey. If you want to support the environment and local fishermen buying local lobsters is a good way to do it, since the lobstermen who harvest them are more than just a quaint New England backdrop. The near shore lobster fishery consists of independent fishermen who operate their own vessels. About 900 Massachusetts lobstermen fish in the near-shore area from vessels that range in size from 18 to 42 feet. Lobstermen set baited traps on the ocean floor to attract lobsters and typically make day-trips to haul between 150 and 400 traps. State-wide lobster fishermen set up to 360,000 traps per year and land about 9 million pounds of lobster.

The fishery is regulated with trap limits, “escape vents” to allow undersized lobster to escape, and rules on allowable minimum and maximum sizes of lobster. All egg bearing females are released. Most fishermen mark the shells of egg bearing females, which protect the lobster from harvest for 2 to 4 years.

Massachusetts lobstermen are also active conservationists by taking an active roll in protecting whales from getting tangled in lobster lines. Entanglement in fishing gear is a major cause of injury and mortality for large whales. The use of sinking ground lines reduces the risk of entanglement by removing that rope from the water column. Sinking line is more expensive and wears out faster, but Massachusetts lobstermen have made a substantial investment in whale-safer gear and are complying with regulations. Besides sinking ground lines, Massachusetts lobstermen have other rules to protect whales, including break-away links at the base of surface buoys, lost gear removal programs and seasonal gear restrictions in the Right Whale critical habitat areas in Cape Cod Bay.

Now we're going to make a lobster ravioli with crab cream sauce. It's a little bit time consuming. But it's really not difficult. So I'm going to show you how to do it. And I'm hoping that you'll give it a shot.

The main ingredients, obviously for lobster ravioli, is lobster. Fresh lobster's the only way to go. However, I will tell you that I did find this frozen lobster. It comes in a 12 ounce packet. And it has a piece of claw, tail, and all sorts of stuff in it. And it's pre-packaged. And it's not rubbery.

Now I don't know if I'd make lobster salad out of it, but for this particular recipe it's great, because you're going to saute it and cook it. And really, it's not rubbery. But the best thing would be to use fresh lobster.

It's a little bit time consuming. But it's really not difficult. So I'm going to show you how to do it and I'm hoping that you'll give it a shot.

First thing we're going to do is to add the butter and get the better nice and sauteed and melted. And then we are going to throw in the shallots. A tablespoon of chopped shallots, one clove of garlic chopped up.

So we're going to saute that for about two minutes until it's golden brown. Now we're going to add crab meat. And we will add the lobster.

Now, this does make quite a bit of filling. We're going to saute this. And we're going to throw in the chives. Give it a nice color, nice flavor.

We saute that for a few minutes. And then we add the best part, the secret ingredient. And that is a 1/4 of a cup of cognac.

And I am very particular about my cognac. I don't use cheap cognac. I use the good stuff. Because I think this is what makes the ravioli.

Hear that nice sizzle. Cook out the cognac a little bit and let it mellow on there. Cook out the alcohol so it just has that nice, nice flavor. And you know we're putting that cognac in the sauce too, because it's so good.

We're just going to let it cook for a few minutes. But really that's it. That was the filling for the ravioli.

After it cools we're going to add 1/4 of a cup of ricotta. And that's it. And then we are done.

How simple is that? Easy. Now we're going to finish up the lobster filling. We're just going to take 1/4 of a cup of ricotta. Pop. Pop it in because it's nice and cool now. We're just going to mix this in.

I have washed my hands. So what I will tell you is that this is easiest done squishing it up with your hands. So I'm going to show you how real cook does it. I just get it all squished up and mix it in, makes it much easier.

OK, now we're going to press the ravioli. This is a ravioli press. Very simple, nothing great about it, just very easy. And what I do, is I take a little bit of flour and I just rub the ravioli press in it, just in case there's any moisture on it, so the dough doesn't stick.

And then I take my press. And I just measure out the dough. So I'm going to take a piece right here. And I'm going to cut it.

I'm going to lay my dough right over the ravioli press. Take the indenter, press it right in there. And look at that. Nice circles, makes it easy to put the filling in.

So now I'm going to take the filling. And again, remember I told you, I don't like silverware. I like to cook with my hands.

So I'm just going to take the ravioli and put it right in to the indentation. And I like a lot of ravioli filling. I want to taste the lobster and I want to taste the cognac.

And then we're going to take some egg white and a little bit of water that I've whipped up. And that is just going to use it to bond it. So I just take it and I take a little pastry brush, and I just brush the edges of the pasta. And that just helps it stick a little bit better.

And then I take my second row of pasta, drape that right over the top and cut it. Now we're going to press the ravioli. I have an old rolling pin that has broken handles that I use. And I don't use it for anything else because sometimes the ravioli press makes little dents in it. So this is my favorite ravioli roller.

So I just start in the middle and I just roll. And then I come back and I roll the other way. And look at that.

And then I press the edges. And then I take the ravioli dough and I pull it away just like as if I were playing with Play-Doh. And then I have the raviolis ready to come out.

So now I'm going to take a parchment-paper-lined pan and just simply flip the dough over. And just gently tap it, which is why, remember, that I floured it a little bit, so that it doesn't stick. And if it does come apart a little bit you can usually place it back together. I have a beautiful strip of ravioli.

If you don't put it on parchment paper, it will stick. Make sure it's on parchment paper. And you don't want to leave it out too long.

You want to get it in the freezer, or else use them. The longer it sits, as humidity gets to it, it kind of gets mushy. And then the dough is not so good.

Now you're ready to throw it into a pot of boiling, salted water. Or you can put them in the freezer for another time. And so when I'm making ravioli I usually make a lot of them.

I do a triple batch so that I can freeze them. And that way I can pull them out. Because it's a little bit time consuming, but it's really easy.

So the ravioli's done. And really, how easy is that? It didn't take any time at all because we had that great attachment for the KitchenAid mixer.

Lobster Ravioli
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