Monday, March 31, 2014

Lobster Ravioli, Homemade

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I don't know about your family, but mine is part Italian and we're serious about our Pasta. I mean, my maiden name is Vivona for heaven-sake. We don't let a week go by without having SOMETHING made of semolina flour. And last week was no exception.

My mom and I were at work last week, working our tails off (anyone need a Realtor? Anyone? Bueller?) and we stopped to grab some brain food before we collapsed. Occasionally we'll get gift cards from vendors in a hope that we'll send them more business, and we had one for a local restaurant that we needed to use. After going through their menu online we settled on a Lobster Ravioli in a Creamy Vodka Sauce. It was delicious. Blow your mind good. But at the same time, seemed so simple and refined.

That's when it hit me. I have to make this. Now. Right now.

Okay, not right that minute because I was waist deep in work, but it definitely made its way onto my menu for the following week.

If you've been following the blog or very long, then you know that I usually like to try and find meals that don't take more than 30 minutes in the kitchen (because who has the time?), so if you're looking for another quick recipe you'll want to skip this one. It doesn't take a lot of hard work, just time... I found that it was perfect for a Sunday afternoon when everyone was napping after church. The house was quiet, and I didn't have anyone on my heels yelling, "hold me!"

FYI - You can't buy Lobster Ravioli in the frozen food section. Trust me, I looked. So you'll have to make it (or order out) if you get a hankering.  I suggest making a double batch and freezing the extras for later.

What you'll need:

For the Filling - 
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Cups Lobster Meat, Cooked - Chopped roughly (I used the pre-packaged Lobster Meat from my local grocery store)
2 Pinches of Parsley
1/2 Lb. Ricotta Cheese
3-4 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese (You know I went crazy overboard with this one.)
Pinch of Salt & Pepper

For the Pasta Sheets- 
1 Cup Semolina Flour
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour (You can use a wheat flour if you would like)
2 Large Eggs
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

How it's done: 

1. Start by making your pasta dough. Sift the flours together, and add them to your kitchen-aid mixing bowl. Add in the eggs and oil, and a Tbsp. of water. Using the dough hook or paddle attachment, mix on 2 for several minutes. Dough should look crumbly. Turn off mixer, and squeeze dough together with your hands. If dough forms a soft ball, turn it out onto the counter and kneed for 10 minutes. *If dough feels to dry, add 1 Tbsp. of water and mix for another minute. Repeat as necessary.

2. After kneading, wrap dough ball tightly in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

3. For the filling - Add Olive Oil, Lobster Meat, and Parsley to a skillet on Medium Heat. Once warmed, remove from the heat and add the Ricotta and Parmesan Cheeses. Combine well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set Aside.

4. After dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator and knead for another 5-10 minutes. Pasta should feel silky and all of the graininess of the flour should be gone. Cut in half and roll into a large rectangle. Get the dough as thin as you can without tearing - as it sits on the counter it will tighten back up. Cut into ravioli squares or circles.

5. Take half of your ravioli squares and add 1 Tbsp. of filling to them. Brush the edges with egg wash, and then seal with another pasta sheet. Press edges firmly, and press with fork if needed. (If they aren't well sealed, they will open back up in the water while boiling.)

6. Lay all of your finished ravioli on a cookie sheet (do not let them touch each other) and place them in the freezer. I layered wax paper between them so that I could get more in the freezer. Freeze them for 1 hour, then put them in a large freezer bag, label and freeze.

7. To cook immediately: Cook the ravioli in a pot of boiling water for 7-8 minutes, until they float up.

If you're interested in making the Creamy Vodka Sauce that goes with them, check it out here!