This is a very impressive main course, or could be done as a light starter before a meat dish. If you can, buy a whole (cooked) brown crab and pick the meat yourself, rather than using prepicked meat – and if you want to buy a whole crab and cook it yourself, boil it for ~10 minutes for a medium sized crab, before letting cool. When you do pick crab meat, it is essential that no fragments of shell remain – so work very carefully, and sort through all the meat once you have picked it.
Makes 30-50 ravioli, depending on how generous you are with the filling.
1. Sieve the flour into a bowl, add a good pinch of salt and plenty of grated nutmeg.
2. Mix the eggs and oil together.
3. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add half the egg mix. Start
to mix quite vigorously adding more egg until the appearance of damp breadcrumbs is achieved, do not squeeze the dough or it will combine before it’s ready.
4. Start mixing well to combine together as a dough and then knead by hand for 5 minutes to achieve a smooth pasta ball.
5. Wrap the pasta tightly in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. The pasta is now ready to roll through a pasta machine (see demo).
6. In a separate bowl, mix the white and brown crab meat together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside
7. Roll the pasta dough through a pasta machine, starting from the widest setting, and gradually going down the settings until the arrow is between 0 and 1. Repeat the rolling process on the last setting to ensure there is a consistent finish to the thickness of the dough. The pasta should be dry, but with no cracks and slightly elastic
8. To make the ravioli, cut your sheets of rolled pasta into 50cm lengths. Place a sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface and brush lightly with the egg wash. Place small teaspoons of the crab mixture in two rows with 10cm gaps between each one. There should be 8 balls of crab in total on the sheet of pasta
9. Take another sheet of pasta and gently cover the crab balls that have been placed on the base sheet. Stretch the dough over to meet the edges of the bottom pasta sheet and press gently around each crab ball to form a dome
10. Using a 7cm pastry cutter, cut out the raviolis around the crab balls. Pick each ravioli up individually and using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze out any air and seal the edges. Store on a tray lined with a clean tea towel. Repeat the process until all of the crab mix is enclosed
11. Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked. Serve with olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan and garden herbs (such as parsley).