Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lobster Ravioli with Truffle Mushroom Cream Sauce Paired with 2009 Piedmont Vineyards Special Reserve Virginia Chardonnay

Lobster Ravioli with Truffle Mushroom Cream Sauce-2

I recently spent the better part of a week in Boston.  Although I was there for business, I was eating my way through Beantown at every opportunity.  I was particularly fortunate to be staying at the Mariner’s Inn in the North End - an Italian neighborhood with dozens of wonderful Italian restaurants.  While walking down Hanover Street grazing through menu after menu of mouth watering delights, I felt I was in Italy – there were equal amounts Italian and English conversations as I strolled along.

Here are just a few of my indulgences while in Boston:

  • Wellfleet Oysters at Union Oyster House
  • New England clam chowder from Boston Chowda
  • More Wellfleet Oysters at The Met Back Bay
  • Osso bucco at Mama Marias
  • Seafood fra diavolo at Strega
  • Veal Marsala at Artu Rosticceria &Trattoria
  • Lobster ravioli in a white wine truffle cream sauce at Florentine Café
  • Oh, and a couple of cigars at Stanza Dei Sigari

My last meal in Boston was the lobster ravioli from the Florentine Café.  Soon after the meal, I was on the phone with Chef Sue to tell her I just had the best lobster ravioli of my life.  I mentioned that I was inspired and planned to attempt a recreation of the dish.  While my intentions were good and pure, I was stopped short by Chef Sue when she said “I will handle this.”  Chef sue is working hard these days – meaning she needed a day of therapy cooking.  I did not put up a fight.

Lobster Ravioli with Truffle Mushroom Cream Sauce

With only a couple days separation from my wonderful experience at Florentine Café, the memory of flavors still lingered closely.  I tasted Chef Sue’s version and was amazed at how close she matched it – without the benefit of sampling the meal I had enjoyed just three days earlier!  Maybe we can credit my precise and detailed description…or maybe we can just call Chef Sue a kitchen magician.  The only difference I could detect was the slight acidity and fruit added by the wine used in the Florentine Café version.  Chef Sue decided to forego the wine component.

The principle flavors of this dish come from the sweet lobster, and creamy, earthy truffle components of the sauce.  Within the dish, the flavors are very well balanced, allowing each component to bask in the limelight without competing for attention.  Beautiful.

2009 Piedmont Vineyards Special Reserve Virginia Chardonnay-2

My pairing choice was the 2009 Piedmont Vineyards Special Reserve Virginia Chardonnay.  This wine is a full bodied Chardonnay featuring pronounced butter and healthy oak flavors with a lengthy, and satisfying finish.  This is not a shy wine – it grabs your attention and demands you take another sip to ensure there are no misunderstandings.  For some foods, this wine may not be the best choice given the prominent role of the French Oak.  However, it worked splendidly with the truffle, cream, and sweet lobster flavors of our dish.  The moderate acidity and full body formed a nice balance with our meal.  As we finished, both Chef Sue and I commented that this wine would be spectacular with smoked chicken or smoked fish.

2009 Piedmont Vineyards Special Reserve Virginia Chardonnay-1


Pasta Dough


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Add flower to the bowl of your electric mixer (with dough hook)
  2. Start the mixer to medium speed and add eggs one at a time.
  3. Add olive oil and salt.
  4. Let the mixer do it's thing until the dough is smooth, firm and dry. You can adjust the texture with water or the addition of flour.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let sit for an hour.

Lobster Ravioli with Truffle Mushroom Cream Sauce-1

Lobster Ravioli


  • 1 lobster (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1 pound sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
  • 1 pound pasta dough
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Steam lobster. To steam live lobster, pour about two inches of water in a large pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water (sea salt is best). If you have a steaming rack, use it. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add lobster - head first. Cover and return to a boil as quickly as possible and start counting the time. Here are recommended cooking times:
    • 1-1/4 lbs. 7-8 minutes
    • 1-1/2 lb. 8-10 minutes
    • 2 lbs. 11-12 minutes
    • 2-1/2-3 lb. 12-14 minutes
    • 5 lb. 20-22 minutes

Lobsters are done when the outer shell is bright red and when the meat is white, not opaque. DO NOT overcook your lobsters. Your lobsters will continue to cook a little after you take them out of the pot. To stop the cooking process, place your steamed lobsters in a bowl of ice before cracking. 

  1. Reserve one cup of the steaming liquid for use in the sauce.
  2. Remove claw and tail meat and cut to bite size pieces. Reserve half of the meat and set aside.  Dice the remaining half, mix with ricotta cheese, and season to taste.
  3. Roll out pasta dough and make ravioli from tablespoon of lobster mixture. Cook ravioli for two minutes just before serving.
  4. Sauce. Add 1 cup liquid reserved from steaming the lobster to a sauce pan with 1/2 of the sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and liquid to a blender with 1/2 of the half and half. Blend until smooth. Return to the sauce pan and add remaining half and half, and mushrooms. Simmer, reducing by 1/3.
  6. Add truffle oil and reserved lobster meat. Season to taste, and simmer until lobster is warmed through.
  7. While simmering sauce, boil ravioli for two minutes, drain and pour sauce mixture over the ravioli when serving.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


1 comment:

  1. That was a great dinner! Who would have thunk Maryland lobsta!?!