Desserts, Dinner
comment 1

A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress

Valentine’s Day is on Friday…yep, tomorrow! For those of you who waited too late to make a reservation, I have a two-course meal for you that any sweetheart will be glad to receive. The first course is a pasta course and the second a light and airy chocolate mousse.

For those saying…a pasta course, I don’t have a pasta machine or don’t want to spend the time rolling the pasta by hand, I promise you this doesn’t require a machine and you only have to roll the pasta 4 times since it is more like a gnocchi than a pasta.  Today we are making malfatti, which translates to “poorly made”, but I think it should translate to “little cheese pillows” because that is exactly what they taste like since they are stuffed with ricotta and Parmesan cheese.  I won’t lie to you, they are kind of time-intensive (they take about an hour), but they are SO worth it! 

Try out both of the recipes below for your sweetie on V-Day.

Malfatti with Cherry Tomatoes Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 2 cups whole-milk fresh ricotta, preferably box-drained
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 6 oz. Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for garnish (or shredded Parmesan for garnish)
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Cerry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon

Malfatti with Cherry Tomatoes Instructions:

  • Dust a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet generously with flour and set aside
  • If your ricotta is watery, place it in the center of cheesecloth
  • Gather the sides of the cheesecloth in your hands and wring out excess liquid
  • Place a clean tea towel on your counter topped with a few sheets of paper towel
  • Transfer ricotta to a tea towel then pat dry with more paper towels
  • Pulse ricotta, egg, 6 oz. Parmesan, and 1½ tsp. salt in a food processor to combine
  • Transfer to a large bowl and sift in 1 cup flour

  • Mix until just barely combined (try not to overmix)
  • Flour your counter and dump ricotta mixture

  • Divide into 4 pieces

  • Roll each piece into a rope that is about 3/4″ in diameter
  • Cut into 3/4″ pieces and place pasta on prepared baking sheet

  • While you bring a small saucepan to a boil, cut a small slice into the tomatoes
  • Once the saucepan comes to a boil, add tomatoes
  • Bring to a boil again and cook for 1 minute
  • While cooking, prepare an ice bath (2 cups ice with 2 cups water)
  • Drain tomatoes then place in ice bath
  • Let cool for 1 minute, then drain
  • Place a straight-edged skillet on medium heat and add butter
  • As the skillet comes to heat, peel tomatoes and add to butter and EVOO

  • Once all tomatoes are added, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a simmer (do not let it boil)
  • Working in batches (3 batches) cook pasta until they expand in size and float to the surface, about 3 minutes

  • As the pasta comes to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and add to tomato mixture
  • Repeat until all malfatti are cooked
  • Ladle about ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid into skillet
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring GENTLY as to not break the pasta, until sauce thickens slightly and coats dumplings, about 4 minutes

  • Divide malfatti among bowls
  • Grate lemon zest overtop with Parmesan and serve with side of choice (I made garlic Broccolini)

Malfatti with Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 2 cups whole-milk fresh ricotta, preferably box-drained
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 6 oz Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for garnish (or shredded Parmesan for garnish)1
  • 1 1/2 tsp ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  • Dust a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet generously with flour and set aside
  • If your ricotta is watery, place it in the center of cheesecloth
  • Gather the sides of the cheesecloth in your hands and wring out excess liquid
  • Place a clean tea towel on your counter topped with a few sheets of paper towel
  • Transfer ricotta to a tea towel then pat dry with more paper towels
  • Pulse ricotta, egg, 6 oz. Parmesan, and 1½ tsp. salt in a food processor to combine
  • Transfer to a large bowl and sift in 1 cup flour
  • Mix until just barely combined (try not to overmix)
  • Flour your counter and dump ricotta mixture
  • Divide into 4 pieces
  • Roll each piece into a rope that is about 3/4" in diameter
  • Cut into 3/4" pieces and place pasta on prepared baking sheet
  • While you bring a small saucepan to a boil, cut a small slice into the tomatoes
  • Once the saucepan comes to a boil, add tomatoes
  • Bring to a boil again and cook for 1 minute
  • While cooking, prepare an ice bath (2 cups ice with 2 cups water)
  • Drain tomatoes then place in an ice bath
  • Let cool for 1 minute, then drain
  • Place a straight-edged skillet on medium heat and add butter
  • As the skillet comes to heat, peel tomatoes and add to butter and EVOO
  • Once all tomatoes are added, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a simmer (do not let it boil)
  • Working in batches (3 batches) cook pasta until they expand in size and float to the surface, about 3 minutes
  • As the pasta comes to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and add to tomato mixture
  • Repeat until all malfatti are cooked
  • Ladle about ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid into skillet
  • Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring GENTLY as to not break the pasta, until sauce thickens slightly and coats dumplings, about 4 minutes
  • Divide malfatti among bowls
  • Grate lemon zest overtop with Parmesan and serve with side of choice (I made garlic Broccolini)

Mousse Ingredients:

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 TSP vanilla

Garnish Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 TSP vanilla
  • 1 1/2 TBSP confectioners sugar
  • 1 TSP confectioners sugar
  • Chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
  • Red berries

Mousse Instructions:

  • Melt 8 oz chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium heat 

  • Stir until smooth
  • Set aside for 15-20 minutes to cool
  • While chocolate and butter mixture is cooling, whip whipping cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form
  • Once the chocolate is cooled, fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture

  • Spoon into serving dish (I used martini glasses)

Garnish Instructions:

  • Whip whipping cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form
  • Cover mousse with whipped cream, chocolate shavings or chips and berries

Chocolate Mousse

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Mousse

  • 8 oz Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 Stick butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Whipping cream
  • 2 TSP Vanilla

Garnishes

  • 1 Cup Whipping cream
  • 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Confectioners sugar
  • Chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
  • Red berries

Instructions

Mousse

  • Melt 8 oz chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium heat 
  • Stir until smooth
  • Set aside for 15-20 minutes to cool
  • While chocolate and butter mixture is cooling, whip whipping cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form
  • Once the chocolate is cooled, fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture
  • Spoon into serving dish (I used martini glasses)

Garnish

  • Whip whipping cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form
  • Cover mousse with whipped cream, chocolate shavings or chips and berries

Don’t forget about these past Valentine’s Day recipes!:

Stay hungry…

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *