To be honest, Aaron and I aren’t really all that into it. It’s mushy and romantic, two words that don’t really describe our relationship. It’s also a day where you know that everyone around you in a restaurant is on a date and
For us, Valentine’s is usually just a night in with a home cooked meal that seems much fancier than a normal night’s feast but, in reality, is just as easy to whip up.
I mean, any excuse to open a bottle of wine and dig into a big plate of brown butter lobster tortellini mid-week is reason enough for to celebrate, right?
Brown Butter Lobster Tortellini
1 batch Basic Pasta Dough or 25–30 wonton wrappers
2 fresh (or frozen and thawed) 175g lobster tails
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1–2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ lemon, zested and juiced
Pinch red chili flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
2/3 cup smooth ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce and serving
3–4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ lemon, zested and juiced
Fresh tarragon and parsley, finely chopped
Pecorino Romano cheese
Prepare a batch of Basic Pasta Dough, cover, and set aside (or set out your wonton wrappers, cover, and set aside).
Remove the lobster meat from the shells by cutting down the centre of each tail with a pair of kitchen shears, splitting the shell open, and extracting all of the meat. Chop the meat into small pieces and set aside.
In a medium non-stick skillet, melt the butter and cook until it starts to turn lightly golden brown. Add in the chopped lobster meat as well as the finely minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the lobster meat is just cooked through. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, chili flakes, and herbs and transfer the meat to a bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
When cooled, stir in the ricotta cheese and egg yolk and season well with salt and pepper.
To form the tortellini, roll out the pasta dough into very thin sheets. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles as possible (you can also use a knife to cut 4-inch squares). Place a rounded teaspoon of the lobster filling into the middle of each pasta shape. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edge to moisten. Fold the dough over to form a half moon (or triangles) around the filling, press well to seal, then draw the two corners of the half moon together to form a little tortellini shape. Press tightly to join the two corners together and place your formed tortellini onto a flour dusted baking sheet, leaving room between each shape.
For the brown butter sauce, add the butter to a large stainless steel sauté pan and set it over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and brown, stirring occasionally. As soon as the butter is golden, add in the black pepper and halved cherry tomatoes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the tomatoes start to soften up. Add in the lemon zest and juice and remove the pan from the heat.
Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes for fresh pasta or 2 minutes for wonton wrappers or until the tortellini bob up to the surface and is cooked to your liking.
When the tortellini is cooked, transfer them directly to the brown butter and toss to combine. Add in a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid and give the tortellini a toss so that it is thoroughly coated with the brown butter sauce. Season with a pinch of kosher salt, toss in some fresh herbs and serve, topped with a scattering of Pecorino Romano.