By Chef Giuseppe Morisco | Special to The Tico Times
Simplicity is the beauty of Italian cuisine, and the recipes I create in Costa Rica abide by that rule. I love combining traditional Italian cooking principals with the freshest, best local ingredients this tropical paradise has to offer! And what better place to celebrate the richness of our natural world then on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica?
My lobster ravioli dish was created for a private dinner event I hosted this year, and was inspired by the incredible lobsters I found in the beautiful, neighboring village, Malpaís. Amazing fresh lobster meat, eggs straight from a farm, the aroma of the truffle and the rich butter and mushroom sauce make this dish hard to resist.
Lobster ravioli in a truffle butter sauce: serves six
2 cups dry white wine
2.5 kilos of lobster
150 grams of cremini mushrooms (optional: you can use any other fresh mushroom available)
½ teaspoon thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
truffle butter (1 tablespoon truffle oil, ½ cup unsalted butter melted (combine these ingredients and place in the refrigerator to harden)
The pasta dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup white wine
½ tablespoon truffle oil
1 ½ tablespoons minced onion
150 cremini mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the lobsters in boiling water with 2 cups of white wine for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the lobster. Remove meat from the shell and chop into small pieces. Set on the side.
In a pan, sauté mushrooms with a spoon of butter and salt and pepper. Chop mushrooms once they are cooled off. Combine mushrooms with the lobster and place in a colander to drain all the juices. Set aside in the refrigerator.
In a food processor, combine flour, salt and egg yolks. Mix until the dough has a consistency of large breadcrumbs, almost like a crumble. If it is too sticky to the touch, add a bit more flour.
Knead the dough for about 4 minutes. It is ready if when you press your finger into the dough, it bounces back into shape.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll the pasta from the thickest setting to the thinnest setting on your pasta machine. Use additional flour if the dough gets too sticky.
To make the ravioli
Cut the pasta into approximately 8×8 cm sheets. Scoop the lobster filling and place in the middle of the sheet, and top if off with a small dash of the truffle butter. Brush water around the filling and top with another pasta sheet. For a round raviolo, you can use a round mold or any round glass.
Tip: Before closing the pasta, make sure there are no air bubbles inside. This will prevent the pasta from breaking during the cooking process.
Cut cremini mushrooms in 4 parts and mince the onion. Sauté onion with butter and once it is translucent, add the mushrooms and let cook for approximately 7 minutes or until the mushrooms are a little tender and start releasing their natural juices. Add wine and reduce for few more minutes. Season to taste. Add truffle oil. Add the cooked pasta and sauté gently for another 1 or 2 minutes, gradually coating the ravioli with the sauce.
To serve, place 4 or 5 ravioli on a plate and spoon the sauce over the top. Finish with fresh ground pepper and fresh thyme. Best if enjoyed alfresco!
Chef Giuseppe Morisco is our new food columnist. He was a top ten finalist on FOX’s hit TV show, MasterChef, with Gordon Ramsey. He moved with his family to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica in 2010, where he opened a pizzeria and caters private events. He also founded Food Lover’s Retreats, culinary vacations hosted by Morisco and other celebrity chefs from the MasterChef. For more info, visit www.foodloversretreats.com.