These festive red, heart shaped ravioli are filled with small dollops of ricotta cream accented just a bit of lemon zest – perfect for Valentine’s Day! Their bright red hue is obtained by using a powdered food coloring that actually brightens (rather than dulls) as it is cooked.
A few years ago, before my second daughter was born and before I had ever attempted ravioli on my own, I brought my first daughter to visit my cousin at her bakery and deli, right before Valentine’s day. I was picking up the usual staples – bread, fresh mozzarella, mortadella, but I noticed they were selling these beautiful red heart shaped ravioli as well. I picked them up for our Valentine’s day dinner and my daughter was just thrilled at the shape and color. I recreated them myself this year in honor of Valentine’s day after purchasing a heart shaped ravioli stamp for the occasion.
Ravioli di San Valentino | St. Valentine's Day Ravioli
- 150 grams 00 Flour
- 50 grams semolina flour
- 2 extra-large eggs
- Red Powdered Food coloring (I use The Sugar Art Master Elite Red Rose)
- 500 grams drained whole milk ricotta cheese
- 25 grams grated parmesan cheese
- zest from 1/4-1/2 lemon (about 1 teaspooon)
For the Pasta Dough (Makes 36-40 ravioli)
For the Ravioli Filling
- Make the filling by combining the ingredients and mixing well. Put the ingredients into a piping bag, or a gallon size zip lock bag. Set in the the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Measure out the 00 flour and semolina flour and combine well in a large bowl. Over turn the flour onto a clean work surface, and use the bottom of the bowl to create a well in the center of the mount of flour.
- Carefully crack the eggs into a bowl. Add red food coloring a little bit at a time, starting with a 1/4 of a teaspoon and adding more if necessary later. Whisk vigorously to combine. Add the colored eggs to the center of the well. Slowly incorporate the walls of flour into the eggs until you create a thick paste.
- Once you have a paste texture, start to use your hands to pull the rest of the flour into the dough, a little bit at a time, and start to knead the dough with the heal of your hand. *’
- Continue to knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough is ready when it is smooth and elastic. You can test the elasticity of the dough by pressing into the ball of dough with your fingertip. If the dough quickly pushes back up, it is ready. **
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 6 even pieces. Work with one piece at a time and cover the other pieces with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap so that they retain their moisture. With the palm of your hand, flatten the piece of dough.
- If using a pasta machine: fold the dough onto itself in thirds and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand – the outer thirds fold to the center. Pass through the machine at the largest setting, “0”, and fold into thirds again and pass through in the opposite orientation at the same setting. Continue to pass the dough through each setting until as thin as possible – I pass the dough through up to the setting of “6”.
- If using a rolling pin: roll the dough into a rectangular shape as thinly as you can, dusting the work surface and top of the dough with flour to prevent sticking. Flip the dough frequently as well.
- Lay down the sheet of pasta and cut in half. Pipe about a teaspoon of filling in a line down the center of the sheet, leaving room for the ravioli stamp to press into the dough without overlap. Lay the second sheet on top and use your fingers to gently press around the bubble of ricotta, so as to smooth out the dough and remove any air bubbles. Use the stamp to press out the ravioli. Continue until there is no dough and filling remaining.
- To cook the pasta: add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water, stirring frequently. The pasta will be ready in 3-4 minutes. Toss with your prepared sauce of choice (or simply melted butter) enjoy warm.
*Depending on the size of your eggs (as they’ll differ slightly), you might not need all of the flour. You want your dough to be smooth and supple. If your dough feels crumbly even after continuing to knead, wet your fingertips in water and gently work this into the dough. Likewise, if your dough feels too wet and is sticking to the counter, dust your hands with a bit of 00 flour.
**The semolina flour will give the dough a bit of a texture – when you are done kneading, you’ll notice the outside of the dough feels a bit rough. The dough will lose this texture and become completely smooth after resting.