If you want to impress dinner guests, lobster ravioli should do the trick. This recipe, with its delectable combination of lobster, ricotta, chives and champagne sauce, is compliments of my friend and chef Natalie Gingerich. Natalie is from California and the first time we made lobster ravioli together I was living and working in San Francisco. My parents shipped me some live lobster via Fed Ex. I steamed the lobster then Natalie took the lead, transforming the kitchen of my rundown Victorian flat into scene that could have been featured on a celebrity chef TV show. Several hours and a few bottles of champagne later my dinner guests arrived and we sat down to an exquisite meal.
Natalie is one of those chefs who rarely uses measuring instruments or a timer. She is guided by her instincts and natural abilities. She tastes as she cooks and adjusts along the way. My husband is the same. When I was working on recipes for my book on lobster fishing, I asked Natalie if she could recreate, in recipe form, the amazing lobster ravioli we enjoyed in San Francisco. The below recipe, featured in How To Catch A Lobster In Down East Maine, is an attempt to capture the magic of Natalie’s cooking. If you try this recipe, I recommend you do as Natalie does. Taste and adjust along the way. Follow your instincts. And drink plenty of champagne!
2 tbs. chopped shallots
2 tbs. butter
1 cup mascarpone or ricotta cheese
1 cup cooked and chopped lobster meat
2 tbs. chopped chives (any fresh herbs would work well)
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 package wonton wrappers
Sauté the shallots in the butter and then add to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the mascarpone (or ricotta), lobster, chives and parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Clear some counter space and then lay out the wonton wrappers. Brush all with egg and then place a heaping teaspoon of the lobster filling in the middle of half of the wontons. Next, cover with another wonton and seal by wetting your fingertips with water, rubbing the edges of the wontons and pressing them together. In the process, make sure to press out any air bubbles. Repeat until you have used all the wontons. You
will have extra filling most likely, which is great smeared on crostini. When ready to eat, simply boil the ravioli in salted water until ready. Serve with champagne sauce or in lobster butter.
2 tbs. shallots
1 stick plus 2 tbs butter
½ cup champagne (or white wine if that’s all you have)
2 tbs. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, sauté the shallots in 2 tablespoons of butter. Then add the champagne and the cream and allow it to reduce over low heat for about 7 minutes. It will lose volume, which is what you want, but be careful to not over reduce. Then cut up your very cold stick of butter into pats and grab a whisk. Turn down heat to very low. Slowly add one piece of butter at a time until all the butter has been incorporated. Turn off the heat. I know it takes a while, but it is worth it, I promise. Now taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if you like. Then add the chives. If you are serving with the ravioli, add them now, toss gently and serve. Don’t forget to drink the rest of that champagne!
Note: Set aside an afternoon to make this recipe as it is labor intensive. It should serve about four people.