Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ravioli di Aragosta e Scampi

Ravioli of Lobster and Shrimp

This recipe can also be found in “Ricette di Sua Maesta’ il Raviolo”, edited by Slow Food. This book, in Italian, has numerous recipes for ravioli, their origin, and a restaurant that prepares them in the traditional way.

A note about the Slow Food organization:

A group of people from Turin created an organization to support local farmers and traditional restaurants. Globalization has influenced even Italian traditions, although to a lesser degree than here in the US. Slow Food came to light in the late 80s when McDonalds opened one of its establishments in Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Although there were not many McDonalds at that time, only 3 in the entire city of Milan, opening in Piazza di Spagna, right next to Armani was a sacrilege. They staged a demonstration at the grand opening and threw spaghetti with red sauce on all of the people as they came out into the street after their meal. For several weeks McDonalds assault on Italian culture was headline news. Since that time Slow Food has grown and become a worldwide organization. They are active in many areas including here in Dallas and do some good things.

The filling of the ravioli and the sauce are created in a single preparation process, since the meat from the shrimp and lobster are also used to create the sauce. This dish requires a great deal of time, it is rather expensive and is a medium difficulty recipe however, if prepared properly it is well worth the resources dedicated to the preparation. In the Italian tradition, this is a perfect dish because you want to offer to all the best that you can do and something that would not be part of the normal feasts.

Ingredients for 6 people:

600 grams Fresh Pasta (4 egg recipe) in sheets rolled to thickness #5
1 kg of Shrimp (just over 2 pounds)
1 800 grams lobster (just under 2 pounds)
500 grams of canned tomatoes (16 oz.) preferably San Marzano
1 small onion diced
1 clove of garlic
2 stalks of celery
Juniper seeds (2-3)
2 heads of Italian Parsley
1 medium potato boiled (200 grams)
3 medium eggs
1 Tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese
100 grams of Pancetta (we use a farmer’s thick cut non smoked bacon)
1 cup of white wine – I prefer a Pinot Grigio but a Chardoney will also do well.
2 oz. Of Cognac
2 stalks of Green Onion
1 cup of Olive Oil

Preparation of the Lobster:

I suggest fresh lobster thus alive. In order to remove the meat the lobster must be boiled for 15 minutes.

In a large pot full of water, boil the onion, 1 stalk of celery, a carrot, the bay leaves, the Juniper seeds, a handful of coarse Sea Salt, 4/5 black pepper corns, and a clove of garlic for 20 minutes.

Add the live lobster and boil for another 15 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the lobster, allow the water to drain, and cut vertically. Remove the meat and the intestine (do not forget the meat in the pincers). With a shell cracker break the lobster into pieces including the pincers.

Clean the shrimp and place the shells, along with the lobster shell pieces, in a large skillet. Add the oil, pancetta, stalk of celery cut into pieces and the diced onion. Saute’ over high heat for a few minutes. Allow sufficient time for the oil to become hot. Add 1 oz. of Cognac. Allow the mixture to become hot again, about 30 seconds, and flame the sauce. Add the white wine, salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook the sauce until reduced about ½. Turn the heat back to high and add the tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes on high heat. Remove the shrimp and lobster shells. Be sure to remove even the small pieces. Place the contents of the skillet in the food processor and reduce to a cream.

Return the cream sauce to the skillet and add the meat of the shrimp and lobster cut into pieces. Add the remaining Cognac, the parsley and the minced garlic. It may be necessary to add a little hot water to the sauce to avoid drying out too much.

Reduce the heat to very low and cook for an additional 5 minutes then remove from the heat.

Remove the pieces of lobster and shrimp from the sauce, eliminating any excess sauce that may have adhered to the meat and mince the meat.

Note: This recipe will tend to remain sweet therefore it is necessary to taste the mixture and season liberally.

Preparation of the filling:

Mash the boiled potato with a fork. Cut finely the shrimp and lobster meat. Mix together the meat, the mashed potato, the eggs and the Parmesan cheese. If the filling seems to have too much liquid, add additional Parmesan cheese. To check the consistency roll some of filling into a ball. The ball should retain its form.

Prepare the Ravioli. Use about a teaspoon of filling for each Raviolo. If you are using a mold fill the mold abundantly.


Boil the ravioli in hot, salted water for about 2 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the sauce previously prepared. Serve with chopped green onion or with shaved butter. Each serving should be 4-6 ravioli per person.

Do not add Parmesan cheese. Although we truly adore Parmesan on most all pasta dishes including those with shellfish, this dish is so delicate the Parmesan would overpower the sauce.

We have prepared these Ravioli for our friends during the holiday period. Hopefully the will comment and let you know their thoughts.


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Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds delish but don't eat shrim or lobster. Must find a substitute....

10:30 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Cara Diva - I will publish both a meat and a cheese ravioli just for you!!!

11:14 AM

Blogger Ariane Benefit said...

Hi David! It wasn't easy to find you again but I did! I wanted to thank you for your comment and link to my blog! Unfortunately, Blogger crashed on me, and I cannot publish anymore. So, I've had to move my blog. Our new home is For now the Kitchen blog will be a topic. We are on Typepad and the category feature is awesome! eventually we will have a kitchen blog again...but right now we are focused on rebuilding our broken blog. I hope you will link to my new blog and I will link to you as well!

All the best,

12:24 PM


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