This is such a refreshingly light pasta dish. Different from the meats, cheese and tomato heavy ones. It is a lot of work but what a treat it is! I like colouring my pasta as it transforms the look of it so dramatically. Here the ravioli has been dyed a deep pink with beetroot puree. I know there are quite a few people who don’t care that much for beetroot so don’t worry there isn’t even a hint of the taste here. Just succulent morsels of crayfish surrounded by delicate homemade pasta sheets. And the sauce? Oh I so love the sauce!
The sauce is quickly flash fried and made up primarily of tiny toasted diced almonds, fresh cherry tomatoes, capers, lemon and dill. It mask nothing from the seafood and the crunch of those toasted almonds are so right against the softer textures in the dish. You might want to double the amount for the sauce as it can be dressed with linguine or spaghetti. In fact, I always make at least 1.5 X the recipe for the sauce as I will definitely have extra pasta sheets which will be turned into linguine or spaghetti and there is also all the pasta trimmings from cutting out ravioli. Make more sauce, it will all be consumed.
These are the the type of crayfish that I used. They came boxed and ready cook. Find them in the freezer section.
Crayfish Pink Ravioli
|Prep:||1 hour (includes making fresh pasta sheets)|
|Inactive:||1 hour if making fresh pasta sheets|
|Level:||Difficult as it involves multiple steps and time to make the ravioli. Buying fresh pasta sheets will cut the work easily in half.|
|Can recipe be doubled?||Sure, just get extra pairs of hands to help you! Isn’t pasta making traditionally a communal affair in Italy? Scroll down to ‘Tips’ section for more suggestions.|
|Make ahead?||Pasta dough can be made 2 days ahead.
Filling can be made a day ahead.
1. I had dedicated an entire post with images about making pasta sheets. Please click on this link, Pasta Sheets. You will have left over dough as it does not make sense to make any less. Leftover dough will be sufficient to cook a linguine/spaghetti meal for ~3 persons which can be dressed with any remaining sauce (or double recipe for sauce).
1. Pre-cooked crayfish should be thawed and then diced small enough to stuff into ravioli.
2. Shallots and dill have to be sliced fine.
3. Lemons have to be zested and juiced.
4. Heat up the extra virgin olive & butter at the same time on medium heat.
5. When hot, add the onions and fry until soft. Then, add the crayfish to just heat through.
6. Stir in the dill, lemon zest, lemon juice. Turn off the burner. Add salt & pepper to taste. Transfer contents onto plate to cool before using.
7. This can be refrigerated for a day.
Preparing the sauce ingredients
1. Heat up the frying pan where you will be making the sauce until it is hot.
2. Once hot, add the diced almonds and stir continuously to avoid burning. Once you smell the almonds, it should be toasted sufficiently. Transfer contents onto plate to cool. If you leave it in the hot pan, it will burn.
3. Cherry tomatoes should be diced.
4. Slice the dill. Then, roughly slice up the capers.
5. Have lemon zests and lemon juice prepared.
6. Set aside and move on to making ravioli.
1. Before we start, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong size/shape to a ravioli. You can make them completely round, square, half-moon shape… However, I tend not to make round ravioli as it means I will have a lot of odd shaped pasta remnants. These remnants should not be re-rolled into making new sheets as it turns out too rubbery when cooked. They are best cooked as is, in whatever shapes, in boiling water to make some form of pasta for eating with sauce of your choice.
2. I almost always shape my ravioli this way to minimise straggly bits of pasta cut-offs:
3. This is what they would look like
3. If I must have round shaped pasta (just because I want to impress), I compromise. I still fold over the ends to seal and instead of slicing out the ravioli, I use a round cutter and this is how it would look
4. Line baking sheet with silicon or parchment paper. This minimises sticking. Dust with flour/semolina.
5. Set the prepared ravioli on it. As soon as each tray is filled up, keep them under a towel and in the refrigerator and continue to make more ravioli.
Storing pasta trimmings and extra pasta
1. Pasta trimmings should be dusted with flour/semolina and then dried off on baking sheet lined with silicon or parchment paper or on cooling racks. Once dry or almost dry, store in air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
2. Any excess sheets of pasta should be run through the machine to make linguine/spaghetti. Store as in step 1.
3. If you want to make a mini lasagne or more ravioli, then slice pasta sheets into a size that will fit your largest food-safe plastic bag. Keep the pasta sheet inside. Fold down to seal and place them in an airtight container (may be folded gently into half without pressing down on the crease line to fit in container) and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Cooking the sauce
1. Before you start on sauce, bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking the ravioli.
2. Heat up the frying pan with the 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
3. Add the diced capers and diced tomatoes just to warm through. Do not cook as you want to retain the shape of the tomatoes.
4. Stir in the toasted almonds and then stir in the dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, just enough to heat through.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the burner but leave pan on burner to help it stay warm.
Cooking the ravioli
1. Once water comes to a boil, add enough salt so that the water is “as salty as the sea”.
2. Add the ravioli but do not overcrowd the pot.
3. The filling is already cooked and fresh pasta cooks super quick. They should be cooked in 2 – 3 minutes.
4. Remove with slotted spoon and drain off excess water by resting the spoon on a tea towel for 5 seconds and then transfer to serving plate. Dress with sauce immediately.
Dressing the ravioli
1. As soon the ravioli hits the serving plate, dress it with the sauce, sprinkle with little sprigs of dill and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
2. Serve quickly.
Crayfish could easily be replaced with langoustine, prawns, lobster, crab and I should think cod will work. I haven’t tried but if I were to, I would cook the ravioli filling without the cod. Then, let it cool slightly before stirring in the diced raw cod. This way, the cod will not toughen up because of overcooking.
Should I double the recipe?
Yes and no. If you have at least one person who is a reasonable cook that can help, than double the recipe. Ravioli require deft fingers to make and I find that more often than not a person who is a reasonable cook can help me better with minimal supervision. If you are the only person preparing this meal, stick to my recipe amounts and don’t double it. Otherwise, you will be standing over a steaming pot of boiling water watching ravioli boil whilst your friends and family enjoy the ravioli as this pasta is best served hot and immediately. A smarter idea would be to serve these ravioli as a starter instead of a main meal. So invite more guests but serve just 2 -3 a person. I have also another option… read question below.
Double the recipe for sauce?
Why? Firstly because it is so good. More practically because it will fill up your diners. How?
(1) Once ravioli have been eaten up, you can serve the extra sauce over linguine or spaghetti. If you make your own pasta sheet using my recipe, you will have excess pasta dough. Turn those into strings of linguine or spaghetti, cook briefly ~2 minutes in salted boiling water and dress with sauce. That is what I do and there is never any leftovers.
(2) Alternatively, buy dried linguine or spaghetti and use that instead to toss with sauce.
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