Back last month, I was watching the tube and saw a commercial for these shrimp and lobster raviolis (ready made) from some pre-packaged food stuff giant. Which usually means butter…milk…inedible. So, being the industrious kitchen-y type, I figured I could make them myself, using dairy safe products, and come up with a suitable, tasty, had-to-be-better-than-packaged alternative.
A couple of key tidbits of information here….
1. I make lousy pasta
2. I’ve always made lousy pasta
3. I always think this time I’ll have magically grown some Italian, pasta-making gene and be able to produce Italian grandmother style pasta
4. I never do…
5. My pasta still sucks..yet rest assured, I’ll try it again… be forewarned.
This was no exception. My pasta roller thingy wouldn’t hold onto the counter, so it was slip-sliding all over the place – meaning that I had to man-handle the thing, which only succeeded my hands slipping off the crank, knocking over the flour container, and coating the kitchen in a fine dusting of flour – leaving me to roll out the pasta by hand….
it was uneven, thick, dry (from having to sit while I cleaned up the flour)…bah..
I stuffed them and tossed the bag in the freezer – I’d lost all interest in ravioli for dinner. I’d deal with them later….
Fast forward to this week.
I was digging around in the freezer, checking the magic meat barrel (I’ll get to that later), seeing what I had cooked and stored for late night food stuffs, seeing what I needed to buy….when I came across the bag of lobster / shrimp dumplings. I was never going to cook them so I needed to either:
a). throw them out – or -, b). figure out something to do with them… $7.99 a pound for lobster was just too much to toss.
I retrieved the lumpy bits and decided to deconstruct them into something else… Lobster Gnocchi.
Man! I don’t usually get excited about reworked food, but these turned out better than great…they were amazing!
I’m giving you the recipe for making them from scratch. I don’t really expect anyone to have lumpy lobster dumplings hanging out in the fridge. (But in case you do…. drop off all the “pasta” ingredients and just use your own leftover pasta)
Lobster Gnocchi with a Lemon / Caper tomato Sauce
2 Large Baking Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Semolina Flour
2 large eggs
1/3 Cup Tofutti(c) Cream Cheese Substitute
2 Small Lobster Tails (the frozen type)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes – Drained
1 Shallot – Minced
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Capers
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons butter substitute
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped Parsley or Basil for Garnish
1 Stand Mixer
1 Dutch Oven
2 medium Sauce Pans
For the Gnocchi –
- Wash potatoes and wrap in aluminum foil.Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender.
- (…that’s what I would say if I were afraid of the microwave… actually, wrap the potatoes in plastic wrap and pop in the microwave on high for 15 minutes. After the time is up, let them sit in the microwave for another 5 minutes with it off, then continue with the next step)
- Peel potatoes, discard the skins and mash the pulp with a fork – set aside to cool
- Cook and mince the lobster
- Add the pulp, both flours, eggs, Tofutti, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, lobster, salt and pepper to the mixer and mix on medium speed to combine.
- Remove from the stand mixer, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface.(The dough will be very tender)
- Divide dough into 8 equal portions, and coat each portion with flour.
- Knead portions with well-floured hands until smooth and no longer sticks to your hands
- Roll each portion into 3/4-inch diameter ropes
- Cut each rope into 3/4-inch lengths
- Using a gnocchi board, roll each piece off and drop onto a baking sheet
- (if you don’t have a gnocchi board – I don’t, actually – use the back side of a dinner fork and roll each dough pillow down the tines to create the ridges around the pillow)
- Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven.
- Drop dough pieces, 10 to 12 at a time, into the water and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until gnocchi rises to the top.(Do not walk away from them while they are cooking)
- Lift out the gnocchi with a strainer and drop into a bowl to hold them (Stir the bowl every now and then to keep the little bundles of goodness from sticking together)
For the Sauce –
- On medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil to the sauce pan
- When hot, add the shallots and saute until tender (about 2 minutes)
- Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium – cover and cook for 5 minutes
- Add the lemon zest and capers, stir to combine
- Cover and remove from the heat.
- Bring a sauce pan to medium high heat with the remaining oil and 2 tablespoons butter
- Add the gnocchi and cook for 3 minutes – (nudge them around, turning them, so they will brown slightly on all sides)
- Serve them up with a good ladle of the sauce on top
- Shave a little extra Parmesan and sprinkle with the parsley or basil