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.

Lobster Ravioli
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