valentine’s day dinner

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For as long as I can remember, I have equated romantic Valentine’s Day dinners with pasta, red wine and champagne. Once, when my brother and I were just old enough to boil water, we made our parents a surprise Valentine’s dinner of spaghetti with Ragu sauce and served it in the dining room sectioned off with their red satin bed sheets. I don’t know how romantic it was for them but it has stuck with me. It has become my tradition with Wade to make homemade pasta on Valentine’s Day and to share a bottle of Champagne (one of our favorites is Camille Saves N.V. Champagne Brut Rosé Grand Cru). Because making homemade pasta can be quite labor intensive and a bit on the messy side,  we usually save it for special occasions. We have found that trying to dine out on Valentine’s Day can be a little stressful and this tradition gives us a romantic project that allows us to share time together. This year we got creative and made something a little different.

I love setting festive tables and I especially love a Valentine’s Day table. I’m obsessed with hearts, red, pink, and anything that glitters!
Valentine’s Day Sweet Potato Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

For the pasta we use Mario Batali’s basic pasta recipe, only use 5 eggs instead of 4 as it states in his book Molto Italiano. To give the pasta a beautiful red tint add some fresh beat juice to the egg mixture!


2 pounds of sweet potatoes (peeled)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch discs. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in a foil pouch and roast on the top shelf of your oven at 400°F for 40 minutes to an a hour or until potatoes are super soft. In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes with mascarpone cheese, nutmeg and Pecorino Romano. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.

Ravioli Assembly:

Take a sheet of pasta and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Place a cookie cutter dull side down so that it doesn’t cut the pasta. Use this as a template to place filling in the shape of a heart but make sure to leave leave a boarder about the width of your finger so that you leave room to brush on the egg wash. Repeat this technique with ample room between hearts. Brush egg wash around the heart shaped filling.  Lay second sheet of pasta over the first and press and seal the edges around the filling, being sure to press out any air bubbles you notice. Use the sharp side of the cookie cutter to finish cutting out the hearts. Store on a lightly floured surface. These can also be lightly floured and wrapped in plastic wrap for freezing.

Brown Butter Sage Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
10 sage leaves
1/2 lemon (juiced)

Melt butter in a saute pan. Add sage leaves and continue cooking until golden brown color begins to appear. About this time add ravioli to a large pot of boiling water. Remove  sauce from heat and remove sage leaves to a paper towel so they will become crispy. Add lemon juice to the pan and cooked pasta to the pan and return to heat. Top with crispy sage leaves, fresh Pecorino Romano and serve immediately. Happy Valentine’s Day!


25 thoughts on “valentine’s day dinner

  1. Girl!!! I love everything about this!! That was such a sweet story and I love your tradition! And you are so rocking that angle in your skirt. Xo

  2. One of my all time favorite dishes! I have killed my sage plant making it. Never with pasta I’ve made myself, though. You guys are too much. Love the story about you and your brother.

    • Made this as an appetizer last Thanksgiving. We each got like 3 or 4 rlaiovis but it was perfect, warm, nutty. Yummy! As for a place to buy them, I recommend Pastosa’s. (I write more about Pastosa’s in my eggplant parm recipe I’ll post this week). But they have 3 locations Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens, though I’ve only been to the Bklyn location and they have very good fresh made rlaiovis with various stuffings.

  3. One of my all time favorite dishes! I have killed my sage plant making it. Never with pasta I\’ve made myself, though. You guys are too much. Love the story about you and your brother.

    • Hi Angie, This is one of the most heartwarming tighns I have ever read. I think of you both often and wish you both only the best. I do appreciate almost everything in my life but then something like this stops me in my tracks like this and makes me appreciate all of the little tighns too! Love you both!

      • As I grow butternut suaqsh in the back yard, they can get much bigger then the store bought models.A quicker way to render butternut is to:slice into 1 inch rings.slice of outer skin from rings.slice into 1 inch cubes (or even 1/2 inch cubes)put into microwave steamer bags (ziplock)nuke until soft (3 to five minutes per bag).transfer to bowl, mash.Processing this way the whole suaqsh is done in 20 minutes for those small store bought, without the hot oven, competing with my air condtioner (important when you live in a desert).Steven

    • Thank you Robin! The skirt makes it’s yearly debut and the pasta…well…I could eat that every week!

  4. I love your Valentine’s tradition! Great idea and I think I am going to have to adopt that one – now, what to make for dinner. And then there is the outfit to consider… :)

  5. My purple sage is imoobng in the back yard (turns out it is a perennial), and this recipe sounds perfect.For a short time, I was lucky and could get decent fresh ravioli at The Iron Tomato in White Plains, but a change in ownership has left me in search of fresh raviolis in Westchester. I’ll find something quickly. This sounds awesome.

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