Recipe: Homemade Portland Crab Ravioli

Recipe: Homemade Portland Crab Ravioli

This recipe was kindly sent to us by our loyal customer Iain Maclean. The waters surrounding Weymouth and Portland offer one of the richest and most diverse selections of fish and seafood in the UK. This recipe using homemade pasta and local Portland crab is not only a sustainable meal option but economical, easy to make, incredibly tasty and sure to add some finesse to any mealtime or menu.

Buy a whole crab freshly cooked (1kg brown crab is perfect for this recipe). The meat provides the filling for the ravioli and the shells provide the flavour for the sauce. If you are unsure how to deal with a whole brown crab, youtube provides many videos to help, or alternatively, use a pot of fresh hand-picked white and brown Portland crab meat as well as a tin of good quality Lobster Bisque soup for the sauce!


Serves 2

Whole Portland Brown Crab -1kg


Hand-picked crab meat -300g

For the Bisque

1 tbsp olive oil

Small knob of butter

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Fish stock - 1pint


Tomato Puree - 2 tbsp

Double Cream - 125ml

Brandy (just a dash)

Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Crab shells (smashed in a tea towel using a rolling pin!)

Salt and pepper

For the pasta

1 cup plain flour (130 grams)

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

For the Ravioli Filling

White & brown crab meat

Pinch of salt & a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Half a tsp of very finely chopped fresh parsley or dried if fresh is not available

1 beaten egg


For the sauce

  1. First, melt the butter in a pan with the oil on medium heat.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and crab shells (frying the crab shell really helps bring out the shellfish flavour which is the heart of this sauce).
  3. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent, stirring occasionally. Do not brown the onions!
  4. Add the fish stock, and enough water to cover the shells. Add tomato puree and a small amount of ground black pepper.
  5. Simmer for an hour to really release those flavours! (The pasta can be started at this point.)
  6. Strain the liquid and transfer to a clean saucepan, reduce to about a pint of liquid
  7. Add a dash of brandy to taste and salt to taste, add the cream, (and a teaspoon of sugar should you find you would like the sauce slightly sweeter.)

Keep warm

For the pasta

  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Combine thoroughly
  2. Add the eggs and mix together until a dough is formed, add a bit more flour if the dough is sticky, or a tiny bit of olive oil if it is too dry
  3. Knead the dough until you have a nice round ball that resembles pastry, then leave to rest covered in a bowl for 30 minutes

    Make your Ravioli

    1. Bring a large pan of water to a boil with a pinch of salt
    2. Mash the brown meat in a bowl using a fork with the salt, pepper and parsley
    3. Add the white meat and stir in gently, as to not break up the lumps of crab which offer some ‘bite’ to the ravioli filling
    4. Flour a large rolling board or clean work surface and also the round of pasta dough
    5. Roll the pasta as you would pastry, to a thickness of about 1/8th of an inch, dust with flour as you roll if it starts to stick
    6. Using a cookie cutter, cut out an even number of ‘rounds’
    7. Place a small amount of the crab on half of the rounds you have cut, do not overfill or the ravioli will burst whilst cooking
    8. Brush the edges with the beaten egg and place the other rounds on top of the crab mix
    9. Use a fork and fingers to crimp edges together to make ‘parcels’
    10. In batches, lower the ravioli into the boiling water and cover the pan. As an indication, the ravioli is cooked when the ravioli floats to the surface, about 3 minutes, depending on the size of the ravioli
    11. Drain ravioli once cooked on a rack, the cookie cutter can be used again to neaten the edges and create uniform ravioli

    To serve, divide the ravioli between 2 plates and pour the bisque over the top. Serve with a leaf salad and a glass of chilled Chardonnay.

    Recipe by Iain MacLean