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Crayfish-filled giant ravioli with salmon roe cream sauce - Tue, 14th Jul 2009
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It took me a couple of goes to get this right, but I was pretty stoked with it once I got it. My advice is to leave assembly late, as the filling is quite moist and it's easy (as I found out!) to have the pasta get sticky and burst when put into the water. Not cool. Still, the sauce is to die for, whatever happens to the pasta.

Pasta Dough:
300gm Plain flour (Italian "00" if you can get it) 3 eggs
pinch of salt possibly a touch of olive oil
For the filling:
1 small crayfish (~700gm) 6 water chestnuts, finely diced
5 or 6 fresh shitake mushrooms, finely diced Fresh parsely, chives, finely diced
Salt, pepper, sugar 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
For the sauce:
Butter Olive oil
100ml chicken stock Garlic clove
150ml cream 2 shallots, finely sliced
sprig fresh thyme Salmon Roe
Have on hand:
Olive Oil, Lemons, S&P, extra herbs (For garnish etc), white wine, cooking string

To make the pasta, I use a recipe from our sometimes-photographer's Italian Nonna, as it should be. Mix the egg, flour and a pinch of salt to make a dough, and knead until smooth. If it's too dry, add a little olive oil, or just wet one hand slightly, and keep kneading. If too moist, sift a little flour over the board and dough and keep kneading. Continue until you have a stretchy, malliable dough. Roll out to about 7mm thick and flour well on both sides to prevent sticking to the pasta machine rollers. Pass through the pasta maker until about 2mm thick. Don't go really thin, or it'll burst when put into the water (I figured that out the first time, too). If you want to go all 1980s Ironchef (which of course I do), you can put a few leaves of parsley between two sheets and run back through the machine again for a fancy looking sheet for the top layer. Flour well, and set aside until about 30 mins before service.

To make the filling, just chop everything except the cray really finely. Chop the cray meat coarsely and add to the mix, season generously with salt, pepper. Set aside the cray shell and off-cuts, for the sauce. Briefly saute the filling in a hot pan, for a minute or so, just to cook off some of the water. Remove and let cool on kitchen paper, allowing the liquid to drain. Refridgerate until ready to assemble.

About T-30 minutes, put the water for the pasta on to come to boil, generously salted. Assemble the pasta. I can't really give instructions for this, but it's pretty much just common sense: lay out a sheet of pasta, space mounds of filling evenly, lay another sheet of pasta on top and push to seal tightly. Use a circle mould to cut large (~12cm) circles around the filling and set aside. To make the sauce, heat some olive oil and butter in a pan and add the shallots and garlic, saute gently. Chop up the reserved lobster parts and add to the pan, along with the thyme, a splash of white wine, plenty of salt (remember: it's a pasta sauce!) and a dash of sugar. Reduce (volume, not heat!) slightly, then add the cream. Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes. While cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water. It took longer than I was expecting: about 10 minutes to cook it al dente. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add roe and remove from the heat. If the sauce requires a little more bite, adjust with a touch of lemon juice. Plate up and eat - a glass of Chablis is a good match.

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