My favorite time of year is officially here!
While I never try to jump the gun too early on getting into the Christmas spirit, the second Thanksgiving dinner has been served, I’m ready to put up the tree, deck the halls, and dive right into the holiday cheer.
Without a doubt, my very favorite tradition of all time is the one my family has celebrated on Christmas Eve. For as long as I can remember, every Christmas Eve morning I’ve woken up to the sounds of my parents singing together in the kitchen, my dogs laying by their feet waiting for something to drop, and a stovetop covered in pots of various pasta sauces.
We celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and family and friends gather at our house to catch up on the year, make new memories, and quite literally feast on several very delicious seafood dishes. The company is always wonderful, but it’s the tradition of this meal we enjoy in together that is the reason I (and so many others) look forward to this day more than any other.
My parents have been eagerly ready to pass down their aprons to one of us after 20+ years of hosting, and I’ll very gladly volunteer to continue the tradition…with a little help from them of course. Because no one does it quite as good as they do.
While lobster isn’t typically on the menu, we do indulge in ravioli on Christmas Day – if you can’t tell, we may or may not really enjoy pasta. I thought it would be fun to pay homage to these holiday traditions I hold so close to my heart while also trying out something new.
And who could deny something so decadent like Lobster Ravioli in Brown Butter and Sage sauce? Butter + lobster + pasta is just something you can’t pass up.
One of my favorite places to shop is The Fresh Market, a specialty grocer known for providing a curated product selection of specialty foods with exceptional quality and the finest ingredients. And this season The Fresh Market is committed to being your one-stop shop for holiday entertaining. Visit your neighborhood store for gorgeous gifts, stand-out sides, inspiring ingredients and more!
The meat and seafood section at The Fresh Market is particularly one I hit up multiple times a week (I like to grocery shop…quite a bit), and I love picking out things like fresh wild north Atlantic lobster tails or lump crab cakes to showcase in a meal.
Sometimes I’ll grab some fresh produce and make something as simple as an arugula salad and top it off with the ultimate lump crab cakes (ask Erick – we honestly make this salad once a week), and other times I want to go a little bit bigger! And in this case, lobster ravioli is where it’s at.
So we’ll start the meal off with a refreshing crab cake arugula salad, then we’ll move on to the main course!
While making homemade ravioli may sound daunting, I promise you it’s not. The dough is just two ingredients, and if you have a stand mixer – it will do all the work for you! Since the wild North Atlantic lobster tails are so fresh, you don’t have to do much in terms of prep work.
The lobster gets boiled, mixed together with tons of parsley, garlic, and ricotta cheese, and stuffed inside that pasta dough. Then we toss those into the water to get cooked and whip up a simple – but so delicious – brown butter and sage sauce.
Whether or not we decide to add this lobster ravioli to the Feast of the Seven Fishes menu, it’s one I’ll keep coming back to for years to come. Let’s toast to another wonderful holiday season, and to traditions – both old and new!
From seasonally fresh produce to exceptional quality meat and seafood, signature baked goods and carefully curated organics, all the foods you love are waiting for you at The Fresh Market. Find your local store here and get your holiday feast on.
- 2½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 4 Eggs
- 2- 3 fresh North Atlantic lobster tails
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- To make the dough using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour and eggs to the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed until the dough starts to come together and form into a ball (it will take a couple of minutes!), you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. If the dough is a little dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time and knead. You don't want to add too much water, so I would do it a little bit at a time! The dough should be moist but not super sticky. Divide the dough into two equal balls and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or a ziploc bag and let sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
- If you are going to make the dough by hand, mound the flour on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into the center and beat with a fork. Gradually start to mix the eggs into the flour until it comes together, add a teaspoon of water at a time if the dough is too dry. Knead the dough with your hands (adding a little bit of flour if needed so it doesn't stick), for 4-5 minutes. Shape into a ball, then divide into two separate balls and wrap in plastic wrap or place in a ziploc bag and let sit on the counter 20-30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobster tails to the water and cook 6-7 minutes. Remove the lobster tails with tongs and let cool on a cutting board before using kitchen shears to cut the shell off, then chop up the lobster meat and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat, stir in the garlic, parsley, lemon juice, crushed red, salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl with the lobster meat and stir in the ricotta cheese. Use a rubber spatula and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Grab your pasta dough, and heavily flour your work surface and a ravioli mold (if using!). Rolle the pasta dough into thin lasagna-like sheets. If you want to use a pasta maker to thin out the pasta you can do that too.
- If using a ravioli mold, lay one sheet of the pasta onto the mold (making sure it's completely covered). Add a tablespoon of the filling into each well. Next, lay the second pasta sheet on top, and use a rolling pin to completely seal together. Turn the mold over to release the ravioli, and use a ravioli cutter (or pizza cutter) to cut apart.
- Add the ravioli to the pot of boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes. Drain and add ravioli to a serving bowl.
- While the ravioli is cooking, make the sauce. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the minced garlic and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until butter begins to brown and gives off a nutty aroma (about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and toss with the ravioli. Serve immediately!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ultimate lump crab cakes
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly
- ½ red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- 1 lime, juice and zested
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Hea olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Sear crab cakes until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn crab cakes over and sear for an addition 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the arugula, cucumber, red onion, pepper, and avocado. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the crab cakes to the bowl and break up into little pieces.
- To make the vinaigrette: in a jar or bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over top of the salad - you will probably have some dressing leftover that you can store in the fridge!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.