Store-bought lobster ravioli makes a quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights, but what’s the best sauce for lobster ravioli? Here’s a quick and easy lobster ravioli sauce recipe that you can whip up in the same amount of time it takes to boil water for the pasta. It’s a creamy red sauce with a flavor that reminds me of lobster bisque. I use this cream sauce for lobster ravioli, but it’s good on many seafood and pasta dishes.
Lobster is usually seen as an extravagance and when I’m making something with it, I try to use every last morsel of that pricey ingredient. Therefore, any time I make a Connecticut lobster roll, I always use the shells to make a homemade lobster stock, which then gets used for a lobster bisque.
By comparison, lobster ravioli is a relative bargain. Usually about $5-$7 for a 12-ounce package. But what’s the best sauce to go with it? Those there’s no “right or wrong” answer (taste is subjective, after all), I do have a preference.
Table of Contents
What sauce is best on lobster ravioli?
You could use a simple brown butter sauce like I make for my sweet potato gnocchi, but for lobster, my top choice is a creamy bisque-like sauce that really highlights the flavor of the succulent shellfish and tender pasta. This is my favorite lobster ravioli sauce and I think you’ll be a fan, too.
What you’ll need for lobster ravioli sauce
- Olive Oil – No need to use an expensive oil, your everyday olive oil is perfect.
- Onion – I use yellow onion, but you can use a white onion or shallots as well.
- Tomato Paste – I buy tomato paste by the tube instead of in a can for recipes where I only need a little.
- Vermouth – this is a fortified wine that gives the lobster ravioli sauce a bisque-like flavor.
- Heavy Cream – don’t substitute milk or half and half.
- Pasta Water (from cooking the lobster ravioli)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – for a hint of spice.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste
This simple lobster ravioli sauce comes together really quick, (in about the same amount of time it takes to bring the pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta).
How to make creamy sauce for lobster ravioli
- Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the ravioli noodles (you’ll use some of this pasta water in the sauce).
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onions until they’re tender and translucent (don’t brown them).
- Add the tomato paste to the onions and stir, cooking and stirring for about 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste starts to caramelize.
- Add the crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
- Deglaze the pan with vermouth and add the kosher salt and pepper.
- Ladle in the pasta water and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes at a rapid simmer.
- Add the heavy cream and heat through for another minute.
- Use a slotted spoon or kitchen spider to transfer the lobster ravioli to the sauce from the pot and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve.
Swaps and Substitutions
- If you don’t have dry vermouth (which is always my preferred choice to go with seafood) you can also substitute cognac, sherry or dry white wine.
- For a creamy white sauce, skip the tomato paste and crushed red pepper flakes and add 1 tablespoon of flour to the sautéed onions, to make a roux. Deglaze with the vermouth. Ladle in the hot pasta water, mixing constantly until thick and add the heavy cream. Finish with 1/2 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- For an ultra luxurious dinner, add a cup of cooked shrimp, lobster or crab meat.
- Fresh tarragon is a complementary herb to the creamy lobster ravioli sauce. You can also sprinkle on some chopped parsley for color.
- If you want a meatier vibe, start the lobster ravioli sauce with 4 ounces of chopped pancetta. Crisp it in the oil, then add the onions and continue with the recipe.
- If you’re sensitive to heat, you can skip the crushed red pepper.
No. This sauce works best at the last minute… plus you need the starchy pasta water for the sauce.
You can, but it’s not nearly as good as the first night.
Yes, this creamy sauce is delicious over cheese filled ravioli and tortellini, gnocchi or other stuffed pastas.
How does it taste?
This sauce tastes rich and creamy with a subtle vermouth flavor and a little heat to make your tongue tingle. It’s the perfect sauce for lobster ravioli. It naps the pasta and clings, but it’s not over-sauced.
My husband loves the bisque-like lobster sauce. It tastes every bit like a fancy lobster ravioli from an Italian restaurant and it’s easy enough to make for a busy weeknight meal (or a much less expensive date night).
Can I double the recipe?
This lobster sauce recipe makes enough for 9-10 ounces of ravioli, but if you are serving a larger group, the recipe can be doubled — though I wouldn’t double the crushed red pepper as that would probably make it too spicy.
What else can I use this sauce for?
I always use this cream sauce for lobster ravioli, but this easy recipe works well for other seafood and pasta dishes. Use it with shrimp and shell pasta, spoon it over sauteed fish, crab or scallops. It’s so rich and flavorful it will add oomph to your favorite seafood recipes.
More pasta sauce recipes you’ll love:
- 20-Minute Pomodoro Sauce
- 13 Tips To Make Jarred Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade
- Spinach Pesto Pasta
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Salmon and Cognac Cream Over Pasta
- Cincinnati Chili for 5 Way Chili
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Sauce for lobster ravioli
- 9 ounces packaged lobster ravioli
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced onion 2
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons dry vermouth
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup pasta water (from cooking the ravioli) (about 1-2 ladles)
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or use a small pinch if you’re sensitive to spice).
- scant ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Set up a pot of water to boil for cooking the lobster ravioli. Cook according to package directions.
- While the water is coming to a boil, assemble the sauce by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom with oil.
- Add the diced onion and sauté, for 3-4 minutes until the onions are very tender and translucent. Don’t brown the onions.
- Add the tomato paste to the onions and stir well to combine. Cook until the tomato paste starts to get fragrant and begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes to combine.
- Deglaze the pan with the vermouth and stir well to combine. Add the kosher salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta water and stir until well combined, then pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly. Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer, then add the cooked lobster ravioli and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve.