Last time I posted my basic pasta recipe. It’s actually something that I make quite often now, especially since my homemade pasta with chicken and pesto sauce seems to be my son’s favorite meal.
For Valentine’s day, I was planning on making a special pasta, a heart shaped ravioli. I was going to tint the pasta pink with some beet juice, and then cook up a picture perfect Valentine’s day dinner. To be honest, though, I have made ravioli before, and I’m the only one in the family who really appreciates it. The boys seem to prefer our standard fettucini, which I guess shouldn’t bother me, because it saves me a lot of extra time. While making fettucini is something that takes me less than 10 minutes, homemade ravioli can be a bit of a time consuming process, especially since I don’t have a lot of practice yet.
Instead, I decided to stick with my heart shaped ravioli idea, but rather than make a ravioli dinner, I was going to make a chocolate ravioli dessert. I wasn’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be; I have never tried pasta in a dessert before.
The outcome was much better than with my standard ravioli. With both my husband and son being chocolate lovers, they also loved the heart shaped chocolate ravioli.
To make the chocolate pasta, I added a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder and about a tablespoon of honey to my basic pasta recipe. Because of the amount of liquid in honey, the dough was a lot more sticky, and I had to add in more flour to compensate. It worked out well, but I will admit that the dough was much harder to work with than usual, and I had to work in smaller pieces. The pasta itself didn’t taste sweet anyway, so next time I think I would just leave the honey out, and add in the cocoa powder.
Once I had my pasta dough, I rolled it out into thin sheets. I then quickly prepared my filling.
Once your chocolate mascarpone filling is prepared, take one of the sheets of chocolate pasta, and mark it with the (heart shaped) cutter that you plan on using to cut out the ravioli. You don’t want to cut all the way through, but are only marking it to know where to place your filling. I pushed harder than I needed to because I wanted to make sure it would show up in the picture. You don’t want the pasta to break, though, because you’ll lose the filling when you cook the pasta, and the filling is the best part!
Spoon some filling within the markings you just made. If I were going to make this again, I would have used my bigger heart cutter. That way each ravioli would have more filling. For me, the best part of the dish is the filling; the pasta itself isn’t very sweet. So, keep that in mind when you are making the ravioli. You want to add as much filling in each one as you can, but don’t try to force it in because if the pasta breaks, you’ll lose your filling when you cook it. You also need to leave room around the sides so that you can seal your ravioli closed.
Cover your hearts with another sheet of chocolate pasta. I did a few at once, but it would probably be easier to cover one at a time. You want to let the pasta conform to the shape of your filling, carefully guiding it into place with your fingers.
Once you have the second sheet of pasta in place, you can start to cut out your ravioli. Use your heart shaped cutter, being careful to leave space all around the filling, and cut through all of the layers. Once you have your ravioli cut out, you can better seal the edges with a fork.
Repeat, making as many ravioli as you need.
The recipe for the chocolate mascarpone filling was enough for 1 dozen ravioli. If you use larger cutters, or want more than that, you can double or triple the recipe as needed.
Once you have your ravioli ready, you can either cook them and let them cool to serve them chilled, or cook at the last minute, and serve warm. I ate them both ways, saving some for my pictures, and preferred eating them chilled.
To cook your ravioli, boil some water, and then throw a couple into the water at a time. I didn’t try to add too many at once because I didn’t want to risk breaking them. For the same reason, I only left them in the boiling water for around a minute, or maybe even a little less than that.
I served my chocolate ravioli with a raspberry puree and some homemade whipped cream. I have a recipe for a homemade chantilly cream in this older post. This time, though, I made it with honey rather than with powdered sugar.
To make the puree, I thawed some frozen raspberries, and pureed them using a hand held blender. I strained the seeds out with a stainless steel mesh strainer, pushing it through with a large spoon. I then sweetened it with a little bit of honey to taste.
That’s all there is to it!
To serve, place a few chilled (or warm) ravioli on a plate. Serve with raspberry puree, or the sauce of your choice, and whipped cream. Garnish with some fresh raspberries if you have them on hand!
Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody, and a great weekend, whether you choose to celebrate it or not!