Perfect Valentine’s Day dinner: Heart-shaped lamb ravioli with vodka sauce

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you and your Valentine want to avoid the restaurant rush and stay in this Valentine's Day,  Chef Toby Freeland from L’Ecole Culinaire shared his recipe for heart-shaped lamb ravioli with vodka sauce with FOX4. He also shared some other foods that are heart-shaped that you can make to celebrate the day of love.

If you're looking for an experience with your Valentine, check out some of their cooking classes.

Heart shaped food ideas:

  • Breakfast - Heart shaped egg in toast
  • Lunch – Heart Shaped Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Salad Pita
  • Dinner – Heart Shaped Ravioli (this is what he’ll demonstrate with the recipe below)
  • Dessert – Heart Shaped Brownie Tart with Strawberries

Heart shaped lamb ravioli with vodka sauce

Ingredients (for the pasta):
• 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 3 large eggs
• 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
• ½ tsp salt

Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board or bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs, oil and salt. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any leftover dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.

Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.

Ingredients (for the filling):
• Lamb Filling:
• 1-pound ground lamb
• 1 tsp minced shallot
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• 1 tsp minced fresh herbs
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté lamb until fully cooked through. Cool slightly and mix in all the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Cut the pasta into 4 equal pieces. Roll the pasta pieces in a pasta machine or with a rolling pin into paper thin rectangles (4” x 16”). Lay 2 sheets out on a floured surface and place tablespoons of filling on each sheet centered down the middle about 1 ½” apart. Mix one egg with about ¼ cup of milk and brush on the pasta sheets all around the filling. Lay the other 2 sheets on top of the filled sheets. Push down closely to the filling making sure to get out as much air as possible. Cut out ravioli with a heart-shaped cutter making sure to leave at least ½” of dough around the filling. Pick up each ravioli and crimp with your fingers to seal. At this point you can freeze on a sheet tray and then store in a zip top bag to use later or go straight into heavily salted boiling water. When the ravioli floats it is done. Remove, plate and top with Vodka Sauce.

Ingredients (for the sauce):
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 cup vodka
• 6 cups canned diced tomatoes
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, dried herbs and red pepper, cook for 1 more minute. Add the vodka and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cream, parsley, salt, sugar and pepper. Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15-20 minutes, adding more cream or stock if necessary for consistency, season to taste and serve.

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