Heart-shaped ravioli feels like one of those Italian recipes that you would only see in a romantic movie – that makes it perfect as a Valentine’s Day recipe! Or really any special occasion for your significant other.
Aside from being a delicious pasta recipe, heart-shaped ravioli helps you stand out on occasions where Italian food is a staple (and let’s face it, pasta is a pretty popular option on Valentine’s Day!).
These ravioli hearts are filled with only two cheeses (ricotta and mozzarella) to keep life simple, and dinner tasty. If this is your first foray into making ravioli from scratch, don’t worry! It’s easier than it sounds. (I’ll even show you how to make that lovely heart shape as well.)
What is ravioli
Ravioli is an Italian pasta dish that dates back to the 14th Century – the pasta is folded into small envelopes containing some sort of filling (usually ground meat, vegetables, or cheese). As it is another form of egg pasta, it is made up using the same standard ingredients – flour, eggs, and oil.
Fun fact: The plural of ravioli is “raviolo” which translates to “little turnip”.
For the Pasta Dough
- All-purpose flour,
- Olive oil
For the Filling
- Shredded mozzarella
For the Sauce
- Grated Parmesan
- Unsalted butter
- Salt, pepper and fresh thyme
How to make Heart Shaped Ravioli
If you’ve never made pasta from scratch, the process can be daunting. There are a few steps involved, but thankfully it is not a punishing experience. My first time learning to make ravioli from scratch involved a chef that moved so quickly that I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head!
We’re going to take it nice and slow. My biggest tip to you is to not worry about time limits. Give yourself plenty of time to get comfortable working with pasta dough, and to shape and seal the ravioli hearts.
Step By Step Preparation
How to make ravioli pasta dough
- Combine flour, salt, eggs and olive oil using a food processor.
- Knead the dough into a smooth ball, and divide into eight.
- One piece at a time, shape and roll the dough out to 8×8 inch translucent squares. (A pasta machine is helpful with this!)
How to make cheese filling
Mix the ricotta cheese and the grated mozzarella cheese and place teaspoon-sized mounds of filling onto the square of ravioli dough, Make sure the spaces around the mounds of filling are moist (if the dough seems dry, brush some water on it). Use a second dough square to sandwich the first and press down on the edges to seal.
(If you’re making heart-shaped ravioli, this would be where you use a heart-shaped cutter to create the shapes. If you don’t have a cutter available, you can do this very carefully with a knife.)
Cooking the ravioli
- Cook the ravioli in boiling water for approximately 4 minutes (or until al dente).
- Once cooked. drain the ravioli and prepare to serve with brown butter sauce.
Preparing the sauce
- Brown your butter in a small saucepan until you get a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn your butter though. The aroma is less pleasant.
- Serve over the freshly-cooked ravioli, with a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh thyme.
Tips to make the BEST Ravioli Hearts
- An optional step that helps with the malleability of pasta dough is to refrigerate it for 40-60 minutes. This helps you to roll it out to that thin translucent thickness you’re looking for.
- Pasta dough can have a strange texture – it’s “tacky” (kinda sticky). Don’t let this scare you, you’re on the right path!
- If heart-shaped ravioli sounds like a headache you don’t want to deal with, or is a shape you’re not into, it’s totally fine to create any shape. The standard ravioli shape is a square!
- You don’t need to use an ‘official’ pasta cutter to make your shapes. A regular cookie cutter will do the job!
- When cooking your ravioli, make sure to use a large pot so that each piece isn’t overcrowded. (Overcrowded ravioli won’t cook as well, and the pieces may even stick together.) Cook in two batches if you have a smaller pot.
- Given that we’ve used a simple cheese filling for these heart-shaped raviolis, the easiest variation is to switch up the cheeses. You can play with different cheese blends such as adding parmesan or asiago cheese as filling ingredients.
- The next simplest option is to add a more prominent sauce – tomato or marinara sauce is a classic option, but you can go crazy, experimenting with mornay or herb-infused sauces.
- Once you’re more comfortable with this recipe, you can add more varied fillings such as spinach or ground beef.
Homemade ravioli can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If you want to make the recipe ahead of time, the pasta dough (once it’s been molded into shape), can be frozen for up to three months (and there’s no need to defrost the ravioli hearts before cooking – just cook for a few extra minutes!).
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A pasta maker will be handy to make ravioli sheets. If you don’t have one, you can roll out the sheets, but it is quite a bit more work. A food processor will also speed up your initial dough creation phase!
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More Italian Recipes
If you don’t fancy making homemade pasta this time around, here are a few options for Italian recipes that will make your loved one’s heart (and stomach!) sing:
And that’s it for today, bestie! What did you think of these heart-shaped ravioli? Are you going to make it? Did you enjoy it? Comment below and let me know!Print