Squid Ink Ravioli with Lobster and Roasted Pepper Sauce

I know…I made pasta again.  I can’t help myself – it’s so easy and fun to experiment with the abundance of extra ingredients you can use to enhance your pasta recipes.

I came across this beautiful squid ink recipe from A Drunken Duck food blog and had to try it out for an early Mother’s Day surprise for my in-laws. I made a few adjustments and also made an alternative dairy-free filling for my husband that I’ll share towards the bottom of this post. Both versions were absolutely delicious – the squid ink added a beautiful dark color to the ravioli with a subtle salty flavor and the rich lobster filling paired beautifully with the roasted red pepper sauce.

Pasta

2 1/2 cups “00” Tipo Flour* (I use this brand)
3 eggs
Pinch of salt
2½ teaspoons squid ink (or cuttlefish ink)**

Lobster Filling***

1 tablespoon of butter
1 small shallot, minced
2 ounces Brandy or Armagnac
8 ounces steamed lobster meat, chopped (I purchased 3 lobster tails and there was more than enough meat for this recipe so 2 should be sufficient)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

Red Pepper Sauce

4 tablespoons butter (or dairy free butter)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces lobster or fish stock
2 large red peppers, roasted
⅛ teaspoon white pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and roast the peppers in the oven for about 40 minutes. Make sure to turn the peppers 1/2 way through roasting. Once roasted, place peppers in a bowl and cover (this will steam the peppers which will aid in peeling off the skin).

Next, prepare the squid ink pasta. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add flour and salt and make a well. In the center of the well, add the eggs and squid ink and combine utilizing the flat attachment on low for about 30 seconds.  If mixture seams a little dry (when you pinch dough between fingers it should stick together) add in 1 tablespoon of cold water. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes on low. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until dough comes together in a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place a steamer basket over water, insert tails, cover and steam until meat is just opaque and very plump, 5 to 6 minutes. (do not overcook or meat will begin to shrink and dry out) Remove tails and let cool slightly. Once cooled, slip the tip of kitchen shears or heavy scissors into the middle of the hard rounded side of each lobster shell and cut down all the way to the tail fan, being careful not to cut meat. Remove meat and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over med-low heat. Add shallots and cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the brandy and simmer for about 2 more minutes. Add chopped lobster meat and cook for another minute or so, turn off heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the mascarpone with the back of a wooden spoon. Gently fold in lobster mixture and refrigerate until ready to fill.

Your pasta dough should be fully rested by now. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll one of the pieces out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using the KitchenAid® pasta roller pass it through the 1 setting and fold the dough over. Pass through again and repeat until the dough is smooth. Lower the setting to 2 and pass through. Continue until you are at the 5th or 6th setting. The pasta will be long – hang it from a pasta drying rack while you roll out the additional pieces of dough. Next, flour your work surface with flour.

Lay one sheet out and place a spoonful of lobster filling towards the bottom half of the sheet. Continue across, allowing enough room in-between to cut the ravioli. Before folding over the top half of the sheet, brush cold water around the filling to help seal the ravioli together. Fold over layer and seal using your ravioli stamp (I purchased these from Amazon). Alternatively, you can use a ravioli maker to help form the pockets. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets.

Before you cook the raviolis, let’s prepare the sauce. Prepare the peppers by peeling off the outer skin. Then puree them in a blender until smooth and force the mixture through a fine meshed sieve. In a saucepan, melt butter then add the flour. Whisk vigorously for 3 minutes until the roux begins to thicken. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the fish stock and whisk together over low heat. Add in the pepper puree, salt, pepper and cayenne. Keep sauce on low-heat until pasta is ready.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook raviolis for about 5 – 7 minutes, drain and serve with roasted red pepper sauce. I also added a little olive oil to the plate before serving.


*If you don’t have 00 flour, you can substitute for all-purpose.
**You can purchase squid ink from specialty stores like whole foods, sprouts or online.
***Dairy Free Lobster Filling: 1 tbsp. dairy-free butter, 1 small shallot (minced), 2 oz. Brandy, 8 oz. steamed lobster meat (chopped), mascarpone substitute (blend together 8 oz. of dairy-free cream cheese and 2 tbsp. dairy-free butter. Add a splash of soy or almond milk if needed).

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Homemade Spinach Fettuccine

For my birthday, my Mother surprised me with pasta attachments for my KitchenAid® and let me tell you…our house has been making homemade pasta ever since. Pasta is one of the EASIEST things to make, with or without special pasta tools, and only requires three simple ingredients – flour, eggs, salt. From these three simple ingredients you can enhance your pasta with herbs, spinach, beets, lemon, garlic and more! With Spring already upon us, I thought it would be fun to experiment with making different types of pasta using fresh vegetables from my local farmers market.

I’m going to share with you a recipe utilizing my handy KitchenAid tools, however I’m also going to share with you a way to make homemade fettuccine with only a rolling pin and knife.

  • 2 1/2 cups “00” Tipo Flour* (I use this brand)
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water (if needed)

Begin by steaming the spinach until just wilted (about 2 minutes). Drain and squeeze the spinach between two towels to remove excess water. Puree the spinach in a blender with the eggs.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, add flour and salt and make a well. Add in the spinach/egg mixture and combine utilizing the flat attachment on low for about 30 seconds. (alternatively – you can create a well on a clean, wooden cutting board and mix the ingredients until well combined). If mixture seams a little dry (when you pinch dough between fingers it should stick together) add in 1 tablespoon of cold water.

Switch the attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes on low. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until dough comes together in a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes. (if kneading by hand – use your palm of your hand to knead the dough. If sticky, gradually add some flour and combine until dough is a cohesive mass. Lightly flour the cutting board and knead for an additional 5 – 6 minutes adding flour to the board as necessary. Cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes)

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll one of the pieces out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using the KitchenAid pasta roller pass it through the 1 setting and fold the dough over. Pass through again and repeat until the dough is smooth. Lower the setting to 2 and pass through. Continue until you are at the 4th setting. The pasta will be long – lay it on a lightly floured surface and cut into half. Lightly dust the top of the pasta sheets with more flour. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. (if you don’t have a pasta roller – don’t worry! Use a rolling pin to press the pasta as thin as possible. You want to build in layers, folding it back over itself, and flattening again and again. Let the sheets sit out and dry for about 15 minutes)

Switch over to the KitchenAid Fettuccine attachment. Pass the dough through the attachment and hang the fettuccine on a pasta rack or lay flat on a floured surface. (now if you don’t have a pasta cutter, simply take your sheets of dough and fold them at 3-4-inch intervals to create a flat, rectangular roll. Utilizing a sharp knife, cut the roll into strips of your preferred thickness)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Fresh pasta cooks WAY quicker than dried so make sure you don’t step away from the kitchen. Add the pasta and cook for about 2-4 minutes (it will float to the top when done). Drain and toss with your favorite sauce. Serves 4.


I made a dairy-free garlic cream sauce (almond milk, fresh garlic, vegan cheese, flour, salt, pepper) and tossed the pasta with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic chicken sausage.


*You can also use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have. I prefer “00” Tipo because they are the softest, finest, Italian flours resulting is velvety, smooth pastas.

Homemade Gnocchi in a Simple Tomato Sauce

Gnocci with Homemade sauce

This year’s tomato harvest at Creekview Farm was never ending! From San Marzano’s to beautiful Herilooms, we had enough harvest for two large batches of tomato sauce, two large batches of bloody mary mix, endless caprese salads and beyond. To help me warm up on these cooler nights, I decided to pair our homemade tomato sauce with a simple gnocchi recipe topped with shaved Pecorino and fresh herbs.

Tomato Sauce

  • Tomatoes (I used San Marzano tomatoes from Creekview Farm)
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Onions, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Creekview Tomato Strainer

I started off by pureeing the tomatoes using our super old-fashioned tomato food strainer (I remember my Mom using this all the time as a kid). The strainer helps separate out the skins and seeds, while keeping the yummy pulp and juices. And what I love most about making tomato sauce is the fact that you really can make it your own and add in whatever herbs, vegetables and seasonings you want. For this sauce, I kept it very simple by adding in a few chopped vegetables and herbs and letting it simmer all day on low until it reached the perfect consistency.

Creekview Herbs

Add chopped vegetables and garlic to a large heavy pot over medium heat, add olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add tomatoes,  chopped herbs of your choice, 1-2 bay leaves and sea salt and simmer on low heat until tomato sauce has darkened and you’ve reached your preferred consistency. I simmered mine for about 8 hours on low – make sure you are constantly tasting the sauce through out the day, adding in more herbs if you desire. Season sauce with more salt and freshly ground pepper.

Ground Pepper

Store in an airtight container for a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. TIP: when freezing, make sure you freeze in 2-4 serving portions.

Gnocchi

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Fresh basil

Begin by boiling the potatoes (skins on) until soft and tender. While they are still warm, peel them and pass them through a potato ricer (if you don’t have a ricer, you can use a hand masher or fork – just be sure to not overwork the potatoes). Gather the potatoes into a mound and form a well in the center. Add the egg and salt and begin to mix together with a fork, gradually adding in the flour. Once mixed, begin to knead the dough gently until dough is slightly dry to the touch.

Aprons Gnocchi

Form dough into log and slice off 1-inch pieces. Take one of the pieces and roll into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. With a sharp knife cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch. Continue the same process with the rest of the dough.

Aprons Gnocchi

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once ready, drop in the dumplings for about 2 minutes (they will begin to float). Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove them quickly from the bath and drain on a paper towel.

Aprons Gnocchi

When ready to serve, heat your sauce and toss gently with the gnocchi. Garnish with freshly shaved Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil. Enjoy with Sangiovese or Merlot.

Happy Holidays!