Ricotta Cavatelli, Sauce Nantua, and Spring Vegetable-Crawfish Sauté

Adapted by StarChefs.com
June 2012
Yield: 16 servings


Ricotta Cavatelli
5 ounces ricotta
1 egg
¾ pound all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 pinch salt
extra virgin olive oil
Sauce Nantua
2 cups olive oil
5 pounds live crawfish that have been smashed
1 onion
1 fennel bulb
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 sprig thyme
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces tomato paste
2 cups brandy
1 Worcestershire
1 gallon shellfish stock
1 quart cream
1 pound butter
Creole spice
Spring Vegetable-Crawfish Sauté
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 cup morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup peeled and halved heirloom grape tomatoes
1 cup sweet peas
2 cups peeled and blanched crawfish tails
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon tarragon chiffonade
To Assemble and Serve
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


For the Ricotta Cavatelli:

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together ricotta and egg. Pour in flour, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and salt and work until smooth. With a cavatelli machine, process the dough by rolling it out flat, about a ½ inch thick. Cut the rolled out dough into ¾-inch wide strips. Flour the strips and crank them through the machine onto a floured surface and hold in cornmeal while you finish the rest. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop in the pasta, and cook for two minutes. Remove and shock in an ice bath. Drain the Ricotta Cavatelli and toss in extra virgin olive oil.

For the Sauce Nantua:

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and sauté crawfish until dry and toasted. Add in the onion and fennel and caramelize. Add in order the carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme, cooking until the mixture is deeply caramelized. Add in the flour and toast on medium heat for 5 minutes, keeping the roux blonde. Stir in the tomato paste and toast 1 minute more. Pour in brandy, Worcestershire, and shellfish stock, bring to a full boil. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Finish with the cream, butter, salt and Creole spice. Pour the sauce into a blender, purée, and pass first through a china cap, then through a chinoise twice, while swirling the ladle, not pumping.

For the Spring Vegetable-Crawfish Sauté:

Heat a sauté pan over high heat and add olive oil and morel mushrooms. Sauté until caramelized. Turn down the heat and add in the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and peas. When warm, add in the crawfish tails and remove from the heat. Warm the crawfish through and season with salt and tarragon.

To Assemble and Serve:

Warm the Ricotta Cavatelli in the Sauce Nantua and portion into serving bowls. Spoon the Spring Vegetable-Crawfish Sauté over the Ricotta Cavatelli and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.