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Crayfish ravioli with a crayfish cream sauce

This delicious ravioli dish, using homemade pasta, would make an impressive starter at a dinner party.

Ingredients

For the crayfish filling
For the pasta
  • 140g/5oz Italian ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 2 free-range egg yolks, plus 1 free-range egg

For the crayfish sauce

Preparation method

  1. For the crayfish filling, blend 28 of the crayfish in a food processor to a paste. Transfer the blended crayfish to a bowl, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 5 minutes.

  2. Stir the double cream into the blended crayfish, then stir in the remaining filling ingredients until smooth and well combined. Chill in the fridge until needed.

  3. For the pasta, place the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat the egg yolks and egg together and pour into the well. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together as a dough.

  4. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes (the dough should be quite stiff and hard to knead at this stage).

  5. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest.

  6. Cut the chilled dough into two pieces. Flatten each piece with a rolling pin then roll to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness.

  7. Flour a pasta machine and set it to its widest setting. Pass one sheet of pasta through the machine. Fold in half and re-roll on the same setting. Repeat the process seven times on the same setting.

  8. Decrease the setting by one notch and repeat the rolling and folding process.

  9. Repeat the process until the pasta is smooth and has been rolled through the machine’s narrowest setting.

  10. Repeat the process with the other piece of pasta dough.

  11. For the ravioli, cut each pasta sheet into six squares. Place one dessertspoonful of the crayfish filling mixture onto one of the pasta squares. Top with two of the reserved crayfish tails. Place another spoonful of the filling mixture on top. Repeat the process with five more of the pasta squares.

  12. Moisten the pasta surrounding the crayfish filling with a little water. Lay one of the remaining squares of pasta over the top of each ravioli. Press down at the edges to seal, pushing out any air bubbles. Using a 10cm/4in pasta stamp or pastry cutter, cut out each ravioli and discard the excess pasta.

  13. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the ravioli for 3-5 minutes, or until al dente (they will float to the surface of the water when ready). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  14. For the crayfish sauce, heat the butter and oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

  15. Remove the meat from the reserved smashed crayfish claws and set aside.

  16. Add the empty crayfish claws to the pan and fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes.

  17. Add the vegetables and fry for a further 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and fry for 4-5 minutes more.

  18. Add the brandy to the pan. Light the brandy in the pan with a match. Allow the flames to flare up and die down. (Caution: keep the pan well away from your face and hair.)

  19. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  20. Add the fish stock, bring to a simmer and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  21. Strain the sauce mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan, discarding the claws and vegetables. Bring the sauce to the boil then stir in the cream and cook until warmed through.

  22. Just before serving, shred the cooked crayfish claw meat.

  23. To serve, pour two ladlefuls of the crayfish sauce into each of two serving bowls. Arrange three ravioli in each bowl. Garnish with the shredded claw meat.

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 2

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