Crayfish Ravioli with Crayfish Shell Sauce

My first time to make ravioli but, as I was using fresh packet lasagna sheets, this was more of an assembly. The sauce was courtesy of a new book I bought Essentials of Cooking by James Peterson– a guide to cooking basics which has been humbling me for the past two days. I bought it with an eye to picking up a few tips and have either learnt something new or realised I was doing something wrong, every other page.

Crayfish Ravioli

Two cooked crayfish; 2/3 cup of ricotta; 6 sheets of “fresh” lasagna pasta; 1tsp of dill tips.

The first thing was to remove the crayfish meat – made easier with a pair of kitchen scissors. I kept the red shell for the sauce later and disposed of the head internals. There is a part of it that is edible, but if there was, I couldn’t find it.

I kept 6 narrow slices of the tail for garnish and chopped the rest of the meat up. The ricotta was added to the meat and choppped togther – somewhere between paste and “bits” – crunchy peanut butter if that’s any help. A few dill tips for colour.

Next I lay out a sheet of pasta and , mentally mapped out six zones, and put a teaspoon of the mix in each. Placed the another sheet over the top and cut it into six squares.

It’s crucial that the two sheets stay together, if the water gets in, it breaks apart and it’s rooted. Unfortunately the lasagna sheets were fairly unyieding as they’re packed not to stick together and it took some water and numerous trips around the outside with a fork to get the two sheets to stick together. Made 18 ravioli and hoped for the best.

Cooked in salted water for 6 minutes.

Crayfish Sauce

Soften half a chopped onion, with a chopped carrot in some butter then add the crayfish shells and let them cook for 10 minutes with a sprig of parsley and two small twigs of thyme.

Stage two was to take it off the heat and grind the mix down with a Bamix. Return to the heat, stirred in two chopped tomatoes, then a glass of white wine, brought to to the boil then added 300ml of thick cream. Reduced the heat and let simmer for 40 minutes until it’s a strong orange colour.

Straining is done in two stages to speed things up. First in a wider holed sieve, then in a finer one – pressing down on the solids each time to get as much sauce out as I could. If you were feeling fussy, you could use a cheesecloth. Returned to the heat for a little thickening, seasoning, and a dab more butter whisked in.

Presentation

3 ravioli for each person, poured the sauce over them, and topped each plate with a slice of crayfish sauteed in butter with a bit of garlic.

Well?

A couple of casualties, but the rest of the ravioli stayed intact. The sauce was wonderful but the lasagna sheets would have been better replaced by handmade pasta. An effective way of stretching crayfish as an entree and the use of the shells was admirably frugal.