I know, without a doubt, that if my partner and I are dining out and lobster ravioli is on the menu, one of us will be ordering it. It’s one of those date night indulgences that graces many a special occasion and Valentine’s Day menus.
We’ve even made it from scratch as a family project. It was lots of fun, resulting in several lobster selfies and a modified game of Twister as the three of us wrangled with a really long sheet of pasta.
I highly encourage everyone (who wants to) to have a go at making homemade ravioli (or pasta of any kind) at least once. However, if that’s not the sort of thing you want to stress about for your date night meal, here’s a solution…
A deconstructed lobster ravioli dish that’s just as decadent as its more labor-intensive cousin! Store-bought fresh ravioli keeps it simple and the sweet, tender lobster is served on top with a luxurious creamy wine sauce.
Gather Your Ingredients
- Lobster tails – you can find frozen, wild-caught, cold water tails at many grocery seafood counters. Alternatively, use already pulled lobster meat and that will save you the step of cooking the lobster.
- Unsalted butter
- Fresh garlic
- Tomato paste – gives the sauce its pink hue
- Sparkling wine – select a sparkling wine you can enjoy with your dinner. You’ll only need a bit for the sauce. You can also use a still, dry white, or rosé wine. To omit the alcohol, substitute with seafood stock or clam juice.
- Milk – I recommend 2% or whole.
- Mascarpone cheese – this creamy cheese will add an extra layer of luxury to your sauce.
- Lemon zest
- Fresh basil
- Fresh spinach & cheese ravioli – you can typically find fresh pasta in the dairy or deli areas of the grocery. Feel free to go all cheese, or cheese & mushroom if you prefer.
Broiling Lobster Tails
You can boil, grill, or steam lobster tails, but I prefer broiling them. It’s quick, easy, and works perfectly for this sauce.
A note on preparing the tails: Lobster tail shells may or may not be pre-scored when you purchase them. If they are not, use kitchen shears to cut down the length of the shell. This score line serves as a guide for you to cut the tails completely in half (a little safer than just taking a whack at it with your big knife).
- Set an oven rack in the upper third of your oven (or about 6 inches below the broiler) and preheat the broiler.
- Pull the meat away from the shell, then set it back in place. Lay the tails, meat side up, on a sheet pan. Drizzle or brush with melted butter, a squeeze of lemon, and season with salt.
- Broil the tails for 3 to 4 minutes (or just under 1 minute per ounce). Check them at 3 minutes. If they are already opaque, take them out.
- Once cool enough to handle, cut the tail meat into bite-size pieces and reserve for the sauce.
Make the Champagne Lobster Sauce
TIP: The sauce comes together in about 15 minutes and is best served right away. I recommend setting the pasta water to boil before beginning the sauce.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the wine; allow to simmer and reduce for five minutes.
- Stir in the milk, mascarpone and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mascarpone has completely melted.
- Add the basil and lobster meat to warm through. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while the ravioli cooks.
Drain and distribute the ravioli between your serving dishes. Spoon the sauce over and garnish with additional basil and some Parmigiano.
Helpful Recipe Tips
Frozen lobster tails & thawing them: Unless you live near the source, you’ll likely find frozen versus fresh lobster tails at your market. This is a good thing! Lobsters quickly deteriorate after being dispatched, so flash-freezing the tails ensure their freshness. Thaw them overnight in your refrigerator or place them in an airtight zip-top bag and submerge them in a bowl of cold water for 30 to 40 minutes.
Parts to make ahead: The lobster can be broiled ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to prepare the sauce. The sauce and ravioli cook quickly and should be made just before serving.
Lobster alternatives: This recipe works with different types of seafood, too…shrimp, langoustine, scallops, monkfish. Chicken or pork tenderloin medallions would be lovely. For a vegetarian take, use mushrooms & tomatoes, cruciferous veggies like cauliflower & broccoli, or greens like baby kale or spinach.
Date Night Meal Extras
This dish can absolutely stand on its own, but if you’d like to serve it as part of a multi-course meal…
- Start with a small cheese and charcuterie board for two.
- Serve a simple mixed greens salad with dinner, along with some crusty bread.
- Use the extra mascarpone (because it usually comes in 8-ounce tubs) to make mini cheesecake or tiramisu desserts ahead of time.
- Don’t forget the flowers, candles and music!
Linda Feller has been a Plan to Eat superfan since 2013 and will whip out the app to share with anyone who expresses the least bit of interest. She is a recipe developer, food photographer and the gal behind Sip + Sanity, recipes for entertaining and celebrating. www.sipandsanity.com
FB & Instagram: @sipandsanity
If you're looking for a romantic and luxurious way to spend date night, look no further than this deconstructed lobster ravioli -- all the decadence, without the fuss.
Source: Sip + Sanity | Linda Feller for Plan to Eat
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 21 min
Total Time: 31 min
- 2 4-oz lobster tails wild-caught, cold water
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1⁄3 cup sparkling wine or dry white/rosé wine
- 1⁄2 cup milk 2% or whole
- 1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon zest (from 1/2 a lemon), plus a little lemon juice
- kosher salt + fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 9 oz fresh spinach & cheese ravioli (typically found in your grocer's dairy or deli area)
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
- Move one of your oven racks 6-inches below the broiler and preheat the broiler.
- If the top shell of the lobster tail isn't already scored, use kitchen shears to cut a slit down the full length of the shell. With a large, sharp knife, cut each lobster tail completely in half, using that score cut as your guide. Slide a thumb between the meat and the shell and gently pull the meat away from the shell, but not completely out. Lay it back down in the shell. Brush or drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter over each, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over, then sprinkle on some kosher salt.
- Broil the tails for 3 to 4 minutes (check them at 3 min so they don't overcook), then set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, lift the meat out of the shells and chop into bite size chunks. Set aside for the sauce.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil while you make the sauce.
- Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the wine and bring it to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, mascarpone and lemon zest; season with salt + pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the basil and lobster meat to warm through. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
- Cook the ravioli per the package instructions. Drain the ravioli and distribute between two serving dishes. Spoon the sauce over the ravioli and garnish with additional fresh basil and grated parm.