Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dungeness Crab Tortelloni

crab ravioli or tortellini

It’s crab season here in San Francisco and this year we’re determined to make the most of it. Last night, instead of our usual crab cakes (which will get a post of their own one of these days) we decided to try our hand at a pasta dish.

Searching the farmer’s market for inspiration, we found a gorgeous bunch of leeks simply begging us to take them home and turn them into crab and leek ravioli. Well, tortelloni, actually, as they’re vastly easier to make as well as less likely to fall apart when cooking.

Can we toot our own horns here? These were simply divine. We kept it really simple and the crab was sweet and perfect. We sauced it with leeks braised with just a touch of wine and butter.

Crab and Leek Tortelloni

serves 2

1 recipe pasta


8 oz crab meat, cleaned
1 small leek
1 Tbsp cilantro
zest of 1 Meyer lemon


2 Tbsp butter
4 small leeks
2 Tbsp butter
Ground Pepper to taste


Finely chop the leek and gently sauté it until it’s wilted but not browned. Let cool. Mince the cilantro. Mix the crab, lemon zest, cilantro and leeks. We didn’t try to break it up too much, just combined the ingredients.

crab and leek pasta filling

Roll out the pasta and cut into approx 2 1/4 inch circles. Working one at a time, spoon a dollop of filling onto each round then fold into a tortelloni. Detailed steps and a video are available here. If the filling is too wet (you’ll know if it starts to interfere with your sealing the parcels), squeeze out any excess water. Place the tortelloni on a board that is generously floured and let rest while you make the sauce.

Slice the leeks and gently sauté in butter. Add about 2 oz of water and the wine and simmer until the leeks are soft. Grind in pepper as desired.

Bring a pot of water to a full boil. Slide the tortelloni into the water and boil about 3 minutes or until they’re all floating consistently. Drain the pasta and serve, topped with sauce. Do not grate cheese on this one as it will make the crab taste fishy! I know i find it nearly impossible to not put cheese on, well, anything, but this is the one exception.


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