Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli

I can’t believe I waited until I was 46 47 years old young to try my hand at homemade pasta. And all without a pasta maker. That’s right folks, it doesn’t get more scratch and primitive than this! And who knew that a homemade vodka sauce was so easy and more tasty than jarred sauce? What was I thinking all these years? Oh, wait, I wasn’t! That’s why it’s never to late to “teach an old dog a new trick.”

According to various social media posts, many of you up North have been trapped inside for days at a time in what seems like endless snow and ice storms. Often, with the kids off on yet another snow day and complaining how bored they are. What better way to fill up the days then making homemade pasta. Everyone can join in and be a part of. Or, it could have them scrambling out of kitchen and out of your hair faster then you can say… “Hey kids, let’s have some fun in the the kitchen!” Either way, pour a glass of vino and enjoy!

Why not give them something they can create with their own hands, as well as taste the fruits of their labor. Cooking with your children can keep them occupied in addition to strengthening the bond between you. It’s something they will remember forever. The traditions you instill in them might just surprise you as they grow older. Who knows, you may even be creating the next Giada or Mario!

There are so many combinations and flavors you can add once you get the basics down. Now, granted, I only made this once, but that is all you will need to understand that the fresh taste is well worth the effort. I use the word effort loosely, as pasta is quite easier to make than you might think.

I have fond memories of my mother making homemade pasta when I was a little girl. She even has her original pasta maker. Back then; however, I was too young to appreciate the full concept of creating something from scratch, let alone savor the flavor notes created by homemade pasta. All I ever understood was the processed boxed pasta that comes off the shelf at the grocery store. It’s the same concept with naps, really. You don’t ever fully appreciate them until you’re an adult.

*Note: See very end of recipe post for a printable version.

PASTA INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour (You can substitute bread flour. Semolina is a high gluten flour as is bread flour)
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
2tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons milk (You can also use water. I used milk for a richer flavor)

DIRECTIONS:

On a clean countertop, large pasta mat or cutting board, mix flours and salt together with a fork. Clear out a spot in the center, forming a well for your all your liquids. i.e. eggs, olive oil, and milk.

With a fork, slowly incorporate dry flour into wet mixture until it becomes a solid ball. If too dry add more liquid and if too wet, add more flour slowly.
Hand knead for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with flour as you are kneading so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the surface.

I think it’s best to hand knead the dough first time so you can get the feel for how the dough should feel. Smooth and elastic. Much like a babies soft bottom.  Sprinkle with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Place on counter and place a ceramic or glass bowl upside down over the dough. Let rest for one hour at room temperature. This allows the gluten to relax.

While the dough is resting, prepare your filling. You can use any filling you desire. Same with your sauce. Get creative. I was craving lobster and shrimp with a vodka sauce.

LOBSTER AND SHRIMP FILLING INGREDIENTS:

12 medium  defrosted cooked shrimp (Reserve 6 of the shrimp for the vodka sauce.)
2 lobster tails reserve some for vodka sauce (Reserve one of the tails for the vodka sauce.)
4 tbsp ricotta cheese
2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh parsley
One egg yolk
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place 6 of your shrimp in the fridge to keep cool.

Bring a pot of salted water with 2 tablespoons of butter to a rolling boil. Turn off burner completely and place lobster tails in for approximately 3 minutes. That is all you will need. Remove from water and drain on a paper towel. Let cool for a few minutes. Place one of the tails in the fridge with the shrimp. These will be used in your vodka sauce.

Chop your shrimp and lobster finely with a knife. You want some chunk. Chop your onion and parsley as well. I chop all my ingredients separately and then mix them all together.

In a bowl add all the ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set in fridge to keep cool.

The vodka sauce doesn’t take long to make at all. I made mine right before cooking my ravioli. However; I infused 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes in one cup of high quality vodka and set aside while I was rolling and stuffing the pasta. So, you may wish to do that step now or eliminate if you aren’t using the red pepper. The quality of vodka really does make a difference, so splurge a little. You’re worth it!

Don those aprons! Now it’s time to roll the pasta. Remove bowl and plastic wrap from dough. You will immediately see and feel how the gluten has relaxed. Cut in half with a sharp floured knife.

I don’t own a pasta maker/roller, so I went all old school and used a wooden rolling pin. In my head, I heard Italian grandmothers everywhere clapping their hands together and shouting “Bravo! Bravo!”

The trick is to roll out your dough very thin. As you can see here, it’s almost see through. This is what’s referred to as the window test. I recommend rolling it out by hand once, just to see what it’s like. It’s not hard. I will invest in a pasta maker at some point. I just haven’t decided which one I want to purchase yet.

Flour your surface well and roll the first half of your dough out as above. I used a small biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out circles. I got about 20 ravioli with each half of the dough.

I brushed all of them with an egg wash, (one egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water) so they will form a tight seal. Then I filled half of the ravioli with less than a teaspoon of the lobster and shrimp mixture. Next, place the other half of the discs over and seal the edges well with a fork. You may need to keep dipping your fork in flour so it doesn’t stick to the edges.

You can put smaller amounts of filling in and fold those over to a half moon to get more ravioli, but I seem to like to make more work for myself in the kitchen. It’s my nature!

Once you have sealed the edges well, carefully transfer the ravioli to a baking sheet on a well floured surface of parchment paper. Put in fridge uncovered until ready for cooking.

How about we get that vodka sauce on now? Mmmmmm, it’s so delicious. I will never eat jarred vodka sauce again, if I can help it. Just remember, homemade does not always equal hard. It does; however, always equal fresh and flavorful with ingredients you control and can pronounce.

VODKA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp salted butter
28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup high quality vodka
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large minced garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese & basil for garnish

Retrieve the reserved lobster tail and shrimp from the fridge. Chop into 1/2″ pieces for the sauce. As well, chop your garlic, onion, basil, parsley, and oregano if using fresh. Also, take the 20 oz. can of whole tomato and in a food processor or blender, process the tomatoes until smooth. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, over medium high heat, melt your butter. When pan and butter are hot, add all your chopped ingredients to the pan. Sauté for a couple of minutes to draw out and marry the flavors. The lobster and shrimp are going to give your sauce a nice seafood flavor note.

Next, add your vodka mixture to pan. The vodka should have a nice peppery taste, so either strain or carefully hold back the flakes while pouring into the pan. Let the sauce simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes until the alcohol burns off.

Next, add your processed mixture of whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir well and turn sauce to a low simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add whipping cream and stir well. When completely incorporated add parmesan cheese. Turn to low heat and occasionally stir while preparing pasta.

Fill a large pan with generously salted water and a hint of extra virgin olive oil and bring to a rolling boil. Carefully add the pasta and cook for about 4-5 minutes or when the ravioli begin to float to the top.

Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon a few at a time and place them in the sauce to absorb all that saucy goodness. I do apologize for some of the blurry pictures. I am in the process of learning to use my new camera I got for Christmas and had to revert briefly back to my iPhone in my cooking haste. The horror!!!!

Time to plate your masterpiece for all to admire. Can you believe you just made this beautiful dish completely from scratch? Pinch yourself, because it’s not a dream. It’s Belissimo, No!

Load that plate and Mangia, mangia! Savor the fruits of your labor.

You will be hooked on homemade pasta for life. Plus, you’ll have bragging rights once your family and dinner guests get a look at the inside of your masterpiece! 

Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
 
Homemade never tasted so good.
Ingredients
  • PASTA INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour (You can substitute bread flour. Semolina is a high gluten flour as is bread flour)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk (You can also use water. I used milk for a richer flavor)
  • LOBSTER AND SHRIMP FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 medium defrosted cooked shrimp (Reserve 6 of the shrimp for the vodka sauce.)
  • 2 lobster tails reserve some for vodka sauce (Reserve one of the tails for the vodka sauce.)
  • 4 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • One egg yolk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • VODKA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup high quality vodka
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese & basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place 6 of your shrimp in the fridge to keep cool.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water with 2 tablespoons of butter to a rolling boil.
  3. Turn off burner completely and place lobster tails in for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from water and drain on a paper towel.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes.
  5. Place one of the tails in the fridge with the shrimp to will be used in your vodka sauce.
  6. Chop your shrimp and lobster finely with a knife. You want some chunk.
  7. Chop your onion and parsley as well.
  8. In a bowl add all the ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Cover and set in fridge to keep cool.
  11. Add ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes in one cup of high quality vodka and set aside.
  12. You may eliminate above step if not using red pepper.
  13. Remove bowl and plastic wrap from dough.
  14. Cut in half with a sharp floured knife.
  15. Flour surface well and roll out the first half of dough very thin.
  16. Use a small biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out circles.
  17. Brush all your discs with an egg wash, (one egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water) so they will form a tight seal.
  18. Fill half of the ravioli discs with less than a teaspoon of the lobster and shrimp mixture.
  19. Place the other half of the discs over and seal the edges well with a fork.
  20. Keep dipping your fork in flour so it doesn't stick to the edges.
  21. Carefully transfer the ravioli to a baking sheet on a well floured surface of parchment paper.
  22. Place in fridge uncovered until ready for cooking.
  23. Retrieve the reserved lobster tail and shrimp from the fridge.
  24. Chop into ½" pieces for the sauce.
  25. As well, chop your fresh garlic, onion, basil, parsley, and oregano.
  26. Take the 20 oz. can of whole tomato and in a food processor or blender, process the tomatoes until smooth.
  27. Set aside.
  28. In a large sauce pan, over medium high heat, melt butter.
  29. When pan and butter are hot, add all chopped ingredients to the pan.
  30. Sauté for a couple of minutes to draw out and marry the flavors.
  31. Next, add vodka mixture to pan.
  32. Either strain or carefully hold back the flakes while pouring into the pan.
  33. Let sauce simmer on medium heat about 10 minutes until alcohol burns off.
  34. Next, add processed mixture of whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir well and turn sauce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  35. Add whipping cream and stir well.
  36. When completely incorporated add parmesan cheese.
  37. Turn to low heat and occasionally stir while preparing pasta.
  38. Fill a large pan with generously salted water and a hint of extra virgin olive oil and bring to a rolling boil.
  39. Carefully add pasta and cook 4-5 minutes or when ravioli begin to float to the top.
  40. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon a few at a time and place them in the sauce for a few minutes to finish cooking.
  41. Plate and garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

 

 

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