Desserts, Dinner
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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 Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 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 Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 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…

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