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valentine's day ravioletti

a floral twist on this pretty stuffed pasta
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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last week I shared a recipe for a very spicy, very garlicky tomato pasta that would top my list of date-night dishes. But I couldn’t let this holiday pass me by without sharing something a little more festive.

Rewind to a few months ago, when I teamed up with John Welch of John Francis Designs to develop a recipe for pear and pecorino ravioletti, tiny pasta parcels made by using one of John’s stunning hand-crafted ravioli molds.

The mold was so popular that John and I thought it would be fun to create a new version for Valentine’s Day (and springtime in general). Instead of nine identical “sunburst” pieces, each of these ravioletti evokes a different flower, coming together into a little pasta bouquet with John’s signature Art Deco flair. To complete the effect, I used two variations of my typical pink pasta dough, dyed shades of rose with roasted beets, and finished the dish with a handful of herbs.

You can find a full tutorial for how to make ravioletti here, or reference the video above. And, although today is February 14, it’s not too late to grab one of John’s molds—whoever the recipient, I’m sure they won’t mind a belated gift if it’s something as beautiful as this!


Valentine’s Day Ravioletti

Serves 4 to 6

For the roasted beet purée

2 medium red beets, cleaned
Note: It’s important to use fresh raw beets; pre-cooked beets will not yield the same vibrant color.

For the dark pink dough*

30 grams (approx. 2 tablespoons) roasted beet purée
55 grams (approx. 1 large) eggs
30 grams (approx. 2 large) egg yolks
200 grams (approx. 1⅓ cups) ‘00’ pasta flour or all-purpose flour

For the light pink dough*

15 grams (approx. 1 tablespoon) roasted beet purée
70 grams (approx. 1½ large) eggs (crack 2 eggs, whisk together, then weigh)
30 grams (approx. 2 large) egg yolks
200 grams (approx. 1⅓ cups) ‘00’ pasta flour or all-purpose flour

*Each dough serves 2; double either of them to serve 4.

For the filling

225 grams (8 ounces) high-quality full-fat ricotta
170 grams (6 ounces) soft goat cheese
55 grams (2 ounces) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Zest of 1 small lemon
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

For serving

115 grams (½ cup; 1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
Kosher salt
50 grams (½ cup) raw walnuts, toasted, seasoned with salt, and coarsely chopped
Fresh mint leaves, dill fronds, and minced chives

For the roasted beet purée

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the stems and roots off the beets so the flesh is exposed and they stand upright. Place them cut-side down in a small, deep baking dish—a loaf tin works well—and add enough water to cover the bottom by ¼ inch.

Cover tightly with foil, prick a few holes in the top, and roast until very tender and easily pierced with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes. Check the beets halfway through; if the bottom of the baking dish looks dry, add a bit more water.

When the beets are still warm but cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your hands or a paper towel—they should peel off easily—and roughly chop. Transfer to a small blender and purée until smooth. If needed, add splashes of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until they blend easily.

The purée can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated in an air-tight container. Any leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months.

For the dough(s)

In a bowl, mix together the beet purée, eggs, and yolks until well combined. Make the dough(s) by hand or in a food processor—the latter is my preference when handling beets!—according to the directions in this post. Let the dough(s) rest, tightly covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

For the filling

Pulse the cheeses together in a food processor until smooth and season to taste. Add the chives and lemon zest and pulse very briefly until just combined. (Alternatively, mix everything together in a bowl.) Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste if you’d like.

Transfer the filling to a piping bag if you have one (for easier assembly) or a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

The filling can be refrigerated in the sealed piping bag or an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

For the pasta

Make the ravioletti according to these instructions and the video above. For the last step, instead of using a knife or pasta wheel to slice the ravioletti into squares, use a 1½-inch fluted cookie cutter to cut them into rounds.

For serving

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil, then season it generously with salt.

Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high. Use a ladle or heatproof measuring cup to scoop ¼ cup pasta cooking water into the pan and bring to a lively simmer. Turn down the heat to low and add the cold butter, one piece at a time, whisking constantly after each addition until melted and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and keep warm over the lowest heat, whisking occasionally.

Gently drop the ravioletti into the pot of boiling water, shaking off any excess flour before you do so, and stir briefly to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 2½ to 3 minutes (always taste-test!).

With a spider sieve or slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the butter sauce and swirl the pan until the pieces are well coated.

Divide the ravioletti among plates. Serve immediately, spooning more of the butter sauce on top and finishing with the walnuts and herbs.

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Authors
Meryl Feinstein