John Fraser


103 West 77th Street
New York, NY
(212) 362-3800


Chef John Fraser

Dovetail | New York

Fraser was at the helm of Compass and the West Village’s tiny and beloved Snack before opening Dovetail, his first go at being a chef/owner. The restaurant opened as a relatively humble affair–seasonal, refined, a la carte dining in an Upper West Side brownstone–and then the reviews started rolling in. Three stars from The New York Times and it was official: Fraser’s restaurant was one of the most refreshing and exciting in the city. His cuisine is descended from The French Laundry, where he worked for 2 years. High-quality seasonal ingredients and rock-solid technique form the foundation of dishes that are both clever and creative, like a giant raviolo of Dungeness crab with chorizo, edamame and lemon, and corned beef and cabbage gnocchi, which manages to capture all the homey charm of the dish in a sparse, pretty composition fitting of a white tablecloth dining room.

Dungeness Crab Ravioli with Wisconsin Mascarpone, Chorizo, and Lemon-Butter Sauce
Chef John Fraser of Dovetail – New York
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings


    Pasta Dough:
  • 10 ounces all purpose flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten with a splash of water (to seal the ravioli)

  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 sticks chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 live Dungeness crab
  • 1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, washed, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 8-10 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chervil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 10 snow peas, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup edamame beans, cooked, shelled, and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chervil, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon tarragon, chopped
  • ½ cup cured Spanish chorizo, peeled and diced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the Pasta Dough:

Place the flour and eggs in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed until dough forms on the hook (you may need to add a small splash of water). Remove dough from the hook and place back in the mixer, continuing to mix on low until dough is no longer sticky. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and flatten with your hands. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough out twice on a thick setting. Make a book fold with the pasta and continue to roll out the dough until you have reached the setting that is almost the thinnest on the pasta machine. Cut the pasta into 4 5-inch x 5-inch squares. Cover the pasta with a towel so it doesn’t dry out, and reserve.

For the Sauce:
Warm the olive oil over medium heat and add shallot and thyme. Sweat until soft, add white wine, and reduce until almost dry. Add cream; when warm, add the butter 1 piece at a time, whisking to incorporate before adding the next piece. Season sauce with salt and pepper and strain. Discard solids and reserve warm.

For the Crab:
Place the carrot, onion, leek, bay leaf, thyme, white wine, and spices in a large pot, turn heat to high, and when the wine starts to boil, add the water. Bring the water to a boil and add the crab. Return the water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Take the pot off the stove and let the crab cool in water. When cool, remove from liquid and place in a large bowl to catch juices. Crack the head of the crab and reserve liquid. Clean the crab, removing all the meat and being careful to avoid shell fragments. Save the picked meat in a bowl set over ice. 

When all the meat is picked, take small fistful size portions of the meat and squeeze the meat dry between your hands. Place reserved liquid in a pot over medium heat, reduce half, and cool. Combine the dry crab meat with the mascarpone, softened butter, crème fraiche, Aleppo pepper, Meyer lemon zest and juice, shallot, parsley and chervil. Mix gently until incorporated, then add some of the reduced crab liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Reserve chilled.

To Assemble and Serve:
Divide the crab mixture into ¾-cup portions; form each portion into a tight ball with your hands. Place each crab ball slightly off-center on the pasta sheets. Brush half of the dough around the crab meat with the beaten egg and fold the pasta dough over the mixture, being careful to seal edges and remove any air pockets. Use a ring cutter to cut away the extra pasta dough and make a half moon shape. Spread cornmeal on a baking pan and place ravioli on the cornmeal. Cover with a towel until ready to cook, and refrigerate.

Prepare an ice bath, and a pot of boiling, salted water. Score tops of tomatoes and remove the core. Blanch for 10-15 seconds then immediately shock. Do the same with the snow peas. When cool, remove snow peas and tomatoes from ice. Peel skin off the tomatoes, cut in half, remove any remaining seeds, and core. Dice to approximate the size of the edamame beans. Dry snow peas off on paper towel.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add raviolis and cook for approximately 4 minutes, at which point they should be floating at the top of the pot. While they cook, re-heat butter sauce in a skillet with diced tomatoes and edamame beans. Add cooked ravioli to the pan. Spoon butter sauce over the ravioli to moisten and add the chives, chervil, and tarragon to the pan. Place ravioli in shallow serving bowls. Spoon some of the butter sauce, tomatoes, and edamame over the ravioli. Top the ravioli with some of the snow peas and chorizo and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to finish.


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   Published: September 2008