Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest ordeals of the year.
You need to call months in advance for reservations, every restaurant is packed, and most places do prix fixe menus. You know, an excuse to sell their same old meals at a mark up for the holiday. Not only that, for me it’s sort of awkward knowing that every person in the room is trying to have a romantic evening.
Just like New Year’s Eve is known as amateur night at the bars, I consider Valentines Day to be amateur night at restaurants, and I stay away. Far away!
Cooking for your loved one is a much more impressive gesture anyway. Especially if you make these super cute heart-shaped Valentine ravioli.
We want the filling to be pretty uniform, so grate the onion and garlic into a paste. I know onion and garlic might not be the sexiest ingredients you can think of, but they are the most delicious. Plus if you both eat it, they cancel each other out right?
Cook the meat, then add the onion, then the garlic. I actually used ground turkey for this, but beef would work just fine.
After the onion and garlic have cooked a bit, the tomato paste goes in next. Two cans!
Cooking the tomato paste like this really brings out a unique tomato flavor. The filling is nice and red for the inside of the hearts.
The pasta dough is flour, egg, and beet. I strongly suggest using beets over food coloring for this pasta. It’s all natural, adds a subtle earthy flavor, and creates an stunning vibrant color.
Ready to roll.
Just a small amount of filling goes into each ravioli.
Dip your finger into some water and wet the area around the filling to help the pasta stick.
A heart-shaped cookie cutter would work for this job, but I really like my ravioli cutter.
Let them dry on a sheet. If you do this on a plate, the bottoms of the ravioli won’t dry out properly.
Next let’s make the simplest Alfredo sauce possible. First, put a clove of garlic into some oil on low and let it simmer for a few minutes. Fish out the garlic and add flour, making a roux. Let the roux become slightly browned before adding the cream. Here you can see the color of the roux just before the cream went in.
The sauce will thicken just as it comes to a simmer. Whisk it often as it heats up, then kill the heat when you see it thicken.
Boil and strain the ravioli and toss with the sauce.
A delicious and beautiful meal. If your loved one isn’t impressed by this, you should probably break up with them!
Asparagus, artichoke, peas and other fresh flavors overflow in these easy-to-make, excellent-to-eat pasta dishes. They could be the best things you try all spring.
Dan Whalen isn’t the only one who finds beets to be sensual. He has been blogging for almost 4 years at The Food in my Beard; check Dan’s Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!