These crab ravioli are delicately flavored, with a smooth, creamy filling jam-packed with crab, wrapped in tasty homemade pasta. Yes they take a little bit of effort, but the prize is so worthwhile.
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As I kind of predicted, now that I have started making fresh pasta again, it wasn't long until I made some more. After about two years between making my first ravioli and the pumpkin pasta I shared recently, I wasn't going to leave it that long this time.
In fact, it's only a few weeks. True, ravioli takes a little more effort than plain pasta and both take a bit of time, but these crab ravioli are definitely worth the effort.
How to make crab ravioli
You don't need all that many ingredients to make these, and nothing is difficult, it just takes a little bit of time rolling the pasta and forming the ravioli.
Thankfully, I had my able helper (aka always hungry son) on hand to help with the rolling out and popping the ravioli from the mould. My trusty Pasta Machine and Ravioli Maker (affiliate links) made it a smooth process too.
This crab ravioli filling is simply:
- crab meat
- lemon zest and
- a little pepper.
Then the dough is a relatively typical mix of flour, eggs and olive oil. This dough is on the firmer side (as with other ravioli like my pumpkin ravioli), partly as you will be rolling it very thin. A simpler pasta, like my pumpkin pasta or spinach pasta, which is left thicker.
Top tip: roll the pasta dough thin
Pasta dough has a decent amount of elasticity so can cope with being pretty thin. And you want it thin for ravioli for two main reasons. Firstly, you are doubling up the pasta as you fold over the filling, and secondly, pasta dough expands as it cooks.
When you roll it for ravioli, you want it to be almost as thin as you feel it can go, though bear in mind it still has to hold the weight of the filling.
I usually roll to around a "6" or "7" on my pasta maker (as opposed to a 4 or 5 as I would for linguini-style). It might seem pretty thin, but it shouldn't tear since it's quite rich and stretchy.
You can also patch any slight tears by pressing the pieces of pasta together - just be sure to check and do so before you add the filling, as otherwise the filling will escape.
I served these crab ravioli with a simple lemon juice and butter sauce, but you could also simply use browned butter or a light cream sauce as well. I'd keep it light and not too strong, plus lemon hints are a good match too.
These crab ravioli have such a tender, light filling and there's really no match for freshly made pasta. Yes, they take a little time to make but believe me, you'll appreciate it. And your dinner guests will be asking you when you're next making them.
Try these other homemade pasta recipes:
- Pumpkin pasta
- Lobster ravioli
- Fresh spinach pasta
- Pumpkin ravioli
- Plus get more Italian recipes and main dishes in the archives.
Tools to make ravioli
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
For the filling
- 6 oz crab or a little more as needed (see notes)
- ½ cup ricotta or a little more as needed
- ½ lemon zest
For the pasta dough
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk (or use a second whole egg and a little more flour - see notes)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour plain flour, or use '00'
- ½ tablespoon virgin olive oil
To serve (optional)
- 2 tablespoon butter approx
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice approx ½ lemon
For the pasta dough
- To make the pasta, put the egg, egg yolks and salt in a food processor and pulse until broken up and mixed. Add approximately half the flour and the olive oil then pulse a few times to combine. Add the rest of the flour and pulse a few more times to mix and until the dough comes together, away from the sides into a ball.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead with floured hands for about 5 minutes. It should be slightly soft but not sticky. Note it will be firmer than a typical pasta dough.
- Wrap in plastic/cling film and allow to rest at room temperature for around 30min. At this stage, you can keep the dough in the fridge for a day or two until ready to use.
For the filling
- Mix together the crab, ricotta and lemon zest until well blended and chill until ready to make the ravioli.
To form ravioli
- When ready, divide the dough into 4 pieces and cover the pieces you aren't working with with a damp cloth or the cling film to save them drying out. Prepare some trays by dusting them with flour.
- As you work with each piece, flatten it out slightly, dust with flour then put it through your pasta roller on the widest settings a few times (about 2-3 should be fine) until smooth. Dust with flour in between if at all sticky. Then move up the settings rolling once or twice at each settings until you get to the thickness you would like - I usually go to around 6 or 7 on my pasta maker. It should be very thin but not breaking up.
- If using a ravioli mould, lay the sheet of pasta over a ravioli mould then press down the frame to make indents. Fill each with a teaspoon of filling.
- Lightly dampen around the edges of each ravioli with a little water then roll another pasta layer to place on top, or fold over the rest of the piece you have if it is long enough, trying to avoid any air getting in each one. Press down with a rolling pin to seal then trim the excess pasta from around the side of the mould and add to a piece to use later. Carefully remove each ravioli from the mould and lay them on the floured trays.
- If not using a mould, you can make them by laying the first piece of pasta out, dotting teaspoons of filling out evenly in lines with gaps between, dampening between then laying another layer on top. Then gently press in the areas between the filling to seal and cut.
- Repeat with the rest of the pasta and filling. Once all the pasta has been used and you are ready to cook, place a few ravioli at a time in a shallow pan of boiling water for around 2-3 minutes until they rise up to the top, then remove with a slotted spoon and cook the rest in batches.
To serve (optional)
- As the ravioli are cooking, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat until it becomes gently brown and nutty. Remove from heat. You can either mix the lemon juice in at this stage, or drizzle the butter over the top of the cooked ravioli then add a squeeze or two of lemon juice. Top with a little parmesan and serve.