Lobster ravioli in tomato and fennel broth

For the Ravioli

3 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

5 eggs

Pinch of salt

For the Filling

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

Lobster meat from 2 cooked lobsters, chopped to a small dice

1/2 cup cognac

8 ounces fresh ricotta

Salt and pepper

1 pound fresh pasta dough

1 egg

For the Broth

1 head of fennel, cleaned and chopped

1 leek, cleaned and chopped

1 celery stalk cleaned and chopped

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

Olive oil

4 – 6 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup white wine

1 cup diced tomatoes

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Chives for garnish

 

1.    To make the pasta mound the flour on a clean countertop or large cutting board.

2.    Make a well in the center and add the eggs and salt.  Using a fork, mix the eggs while slowly incorporating the flour.

3.    When the eggs have been fully incorporated, use your hands to knead the dough together.

4.    Once the dough becomes cohesive; remove the dough, scrape the board clean, dust with flour and begin to knead.  Knead the dough with the palm of your hands, folding it over on itself and turning ¼ turn each time.

5.    After 10 minutes, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest for 45 minutes.

6.    For the filling, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet;  add the shallots and sauté until soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes.

7.    Add the lobster and heat through for 2 minutes.

8.    Off the flame add cognac; return to the heat, light with a match or lighter, and stir until the flame burns out; remove from heat.

9.    In a large bowl, add the cooled lobster mixture to the ricotta; season with salt and pepper and combine.

10.   Divide the dough into 3 – 4 equal sized pieces.  Roll each through progressively thinner settings on a pasta machine until thin.  Cut into 4 inch squares.

11.   In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a small splash of water.  Place a large teaspoon size dollop of lobster filling in the center of a pasta square, brush the sides with the egg mixture and top with another pasta square, pressing down on all sides.  Reserve to a parchment lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pasta.

12.  To make the broth, add the fennel, leek, celery and shallot to a large stockpot with some olive oil and sweat for 5 minutes over medium heat.

13.  Add the fennel, bay leaf, and the tomato paste and cook another two minutes.

14.  Add wine and reduce for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat and strain through a cheese cloth lined chinois.  Return to the cleaned pot, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

15.  To complete, bring 6 quarts of water to boil with 2 tablespoons salt.  Gently drop the ravioli in the water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove and drain.

16.   To serve, place 2 or 3 ravioli in a bowl, cover with the broth, and garnish with chives.