Lobster and Truffle Tortellini with Creamy Lobster Broth

By: The Culinary Institute of America

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10 portions


For the creamy lobster broth

Maine Lobster bodies, cleaned 4 ea.

Olive oil 1/3 cup

Shallots, sliced (about 3 medium) 1/3 cup

Carrot, sliced 1/3 cup

Celery, sliced 1/3 cup

Garlic clove, chopped 1 ea.

Brandy ¼ cup

Tarragon ½ bu.

Thyme branches, fresh 3 ea.

Bay leaf 1 ea. Tomatoes, ripe, chopped 1½ cups

Water 2 qt. Crème fraîche, cold 2 cups

Salt to taste

Cayenne 1 pinch

For the pasta filling

Maine Lobster meat, raw, chopped and cold ½ lb.

Bread crumbs, panko, soaked in ½ cup cream 1 oz. (¾ cup)

Cream, cold ¾ cup

Egg whites 1 ea.

Salt 1 tsp. or to taste

Cayenne 1 pinch

Truffle oil 1½ tsp.

Chives, finely chopped 2 tbsp.

Truffle shavings, chopped 2 tbsp.

Pasta dough (see note)


For the creamy lobster broth: Clean the lobster bodies, removing the intestines, lungs, and tomalley. Crack the shells with a mallet.

Preheat a medium sauce pot over high heat and add the olive oil. When it smokes, add the lobster shells. Sauté until red and glistening. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, and garlic. Sauté for 1 additional minute.

Flame with brandy and then add the tarragon, thyme, bay leaf, and tomato, and cover all with water. Bring to a simmer. Skim and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Strain the stock, pounding with a wooden spoon to extract the flavor. Put it into a clean pan and reduce by three-quarters (2 cups remaining volume) over medium heat until flavorful. Add the crème fraîche and cook until hot and slightly thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and chill if not serving immediately.

For the tortellini filling: Mix the bread crumbs with ½ cup of cream and allow to soften. Grind the lobster with egg white and the soaked crumbs until smooth. Season with salt and cayenne. With the food processor running add the cream in a steady stream and run only until incorporated. Pass forcemeat through a tamis into a bowl over ice. Gently stir in the truffle oil, chives, and the truffles. Test the forcemeat and adjust with either egg white or more cream (although this shouldn’t be necessary).

Roll out the pasta into a long, 6-inch-wide strip. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds. Moisten the edges with water and place ½ teaspoon-mounds of forcemeat in the center of the pasta (a pastry bags works well for this job). Fold the pasta over the filling to form a semi-circle, pressing the edges together. Push your thumb into the filling from the straight edge and bring the two tips together. Moisten one of the tips with water and press the other tip to it until it sticks. Reserve on a tray dusted with flour under refrigeration until ready to cook.

Boil tortellini in salted water for about 4 minutes. Warm the sauce until hot. Serve 8 tortellini with a ladle of sauce and top with a delicate herb salad made of 2 tablespoons celery leaves, 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, 2 teaspoons tarragon leaves, and 2 tablespoons thinly shredded green onion. This salad should be soaked briefly in iced water to assure the herbs are ultra-fresh and lively.

Note: For pasta dough, mix together 8 ounces all-purpose flour, 5 egg yolks, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 tablespoon of water into a homogenous dough and knead until smooth and resilient, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before rolling and shaping.