Introduction: Pasta Del Cuore (Love, Heart Shaped Pasta)
Hi everyone, in this tutorial I will be teaching you on how to make pretty little heart shaped pasta called Pasta del cuore. Google it and i can guarantee you wouldn't find any results because this is something entirely new! Well, it isn't all that new because first of all the Italians have been making pastas for centuries, and second, introducing a myriad of color combinations has been introduced not too far long ago. Instagram "Rainbow Pasta" and you be amazed of how home cooks and chefs alike would do so many creative color variation. Salty Seattle is definitely my biggest inspiration. Linda's quirky and vibrant personality is always reflected onto her out-of-this-world pastas. She is amazing, go check her out.
Coming back to our Pasta de Amore (pardon my Italian, i didn't intentionally want to offend any native speakers out there, love you!) I thought it be interesting to make a pasta that is shaped like a heart. Filled with yummy goodness to warm up your heart. Of course, you can make this unfilled or filled with your favorite stuffed pasta filling, mushrooms? butternut puree? spinach and cheese? Do what you heart tells you to do. Also, knowing there are so many passionate homechefs out there, if you have your own family's fresh pasta recipe, go ahead! This instructable mainly teaches you how to shaped them.
So without further ado, let's proceed.
Step 2: Yellow Pasta Based
2 cups of all purpose flour
4 large whole eggs
4 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
In a large bowl, pour your flour and salt. Make a well in the center, and place your eggs in the well. Beat the eggs and gradually add the flour surrounding the beaten egg. Continue to gradually add the flour until all is incorporated.
Once they have come together, pour your shaggy dough out unto a table or counter top and knead it. If the dough feels a tad to the dry side, add a tablespoon of water. If it's too wet, sprinkle a few flour into your dough. Knead it enough that you form enough gluten to stretch the pasta later, but do not over knead it either because it will lead to a tough pasta once cooked. So knead it enough to just form a silky ball.
Wrap the dough with saran wrap airtight to prevent it from drying out. Let the dough rest for at least 2 hours to overnight in the refrigerator to fully relax the gluten.
Step 4: To Make the Beet Pasta
1 large beet (or two small golf ball sized beets), peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Ensure to wash your beets prior to prepping them to remove any dirt and grime. Peel the skin of your beet and cut them into large cubes. Place your cubes into a sauce pot, and pour enough water to cover the beets. Place on the stove and cook them on medium heat until fork tender. Once tender, discard the water.
After you discard the water, put your boiled beets into a food processor or a blender together with your eggs and oil. Blend/puree them until smooth.
Pour your beet puree, slowly and gradually into the center of the flour well. Add about 1 cup of puree first, if it feels dry, add a little more puree. Then gradually add more and more flour into the well until the dough feels it is hydrated enough.
Pour it out unto a counter top and start kneading it until it becomes a silky ball with enough gluten structure, but remember to not over knead it.
Cover your beet dough with saran wrap.
I notice for my beet dough, after it rested in the fridge for 1 hour, the flour continued to adsorb more moisture and the dough become too soft and sticky. To combat this issue, I divided the dough in half and knead it a little more with more flour until it forms a tight ball.
Step 8: Manicotti Cheese Filling
15oz of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup of Italian mixed shredded cheese
1/4 of frshely chopped italian parsley
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of nutmeg
Beat your egg in a mixing bowl. Then add in all of the ingredients at once and mixed it until it is even. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You're welcome to use a different filling for this heart pasta as well.
Step 9: Your Template
The template for this heart shaped filled pasta is going to look like a lip. The rounded peaks of the heart will be the curve "M", while the pointy ends will be needed to fold and stick the ends together to form the bottom part of the curve. The template will be approximately 4 inches wide to 3.5 inches in height. You could definitely try to do smaller, tortellini sized ones but i would advise to practice on a larger scale until you get a hang of it.
Step 10: Divide Your Dough
For those like me who don't own a pasta rotary, a simple rolling pin will do just the trick. But it would help to work in two divided doughs to allow ample space to roll and work. But if you do have a rotary machine, you do not need to divide the dough.
You would want to start rolling your dough at only 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock , just front and back, not so much side to side. You would want to stretch out your dough in the same direction as long as you possibly can roll, and as thin as you can go, about 1mm in height.
Once you reached a desired thinness, divide your rectangle into 2 rectangles. Place it over and under saran wrap so it will give you ample time to work on your design without drying out your thin dough too quickly. For extra reassurance i covered with a clean kitchen towel misted with water from some extra humidity (since colorado air is really dry)
Step 14: Begin Your Beet Dough
Repeat the same process with your beet dough, rolling and stretching it until you reached a desired thinness. Then using a ruler and a pie rotary cutter (or a very sharp knife), begin slicing the dough into very thin strips. Now, do as I say, not what I did. I advise for you to make your strips thin, about 3mm wide. Because when you do your roll later on, the beet dough will flatten and hence, broaden your strips wider. You will see later on in the next few steps, on the difference between a thick vs thin strips.
Layer your strips of beet dough in a stripe design, as far apart as possible, not too near as shown in the picture.
Using a rotary cutter, trim the edges as this will clean up any rough edges and also pinch the ends together. Using your finger tips, lightly pressed on the strips to adhere them to the base yellow dough.
Sprinkle and dust some flour over your dough and begin to roll. Like the previous step, only roll front and back following the direction of your stripes.
So as you can see, when i made the stripes wider and placed too close to each other, after it's rolled the beet dough sort of taken over the space and the yellow base layer is not prominent. Yes, it's still usable and edible but it's just a matter of cosmetic. On the next one, you'll see the stripes better.
Trim your edges into a clean rectangle, reuse your plastic saran wrap and sandwich your rectangle dough to prevent it from drying out while we work on the next one.
Repeat the same process for the next few doughs. As you can see, the ones with the thinner strips will allow the base layer to be more prominent as they are more space for them.
Step 19: Cut and Divide Your Dough
Using your rotary cutter and ruler, divide your dough according to out template measurements.
Each rectangle will be 4 inches wide and 3.5 inches wide.
Once again, sandwich them in between your plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Step 20: Prep
Place your pasta filling into a piping bag to ease piping.
Next, have your tools ready.
Tools will need:
A small sharp scissor (i used my clean thread scissor with a curve end)
Your lip template
A rolling pin
1 egg (to seal your ends)
Step 21: Here Is the Main Folding Session
Step 1: Take one of your small rectangle pasta (while leaving the rest still in their plastic wrap), and using a rolling pin, roll them VERY thinly. The pasta will stretch more and that's okay. YOU WANT A THIN PASTA.
Step 2: Fold your pasta sheet in half and fit your template over.
Step 3: Using your very sharp small scissor, cut along the template.
Step 5: Open up your cut pasta and have your fillings and egg ready.
Step 6: Piped a small amount of filling inside.
Step 7: Lightly coat some egg white on the outer edges of the pasta. Then fold it in half and seal the edges together. Lightly pressed on the edges and discard any large air bubbles.
Step 24: Folding Into a Heart
Begin by pressing your thumb at the bottom centre and push it inwards. This will create a nice bumpo and also allow it to fold inwards naturally.
Then gently fold the ends INWARDS. Dap a small amount of egg wash on the ends and PINCH the ends tight.
Ensure the ends are pinched tight, if not it could unravel itself during the cooking stage.
Trim the edges if there's any uneven edges. Here you go! Your end product.
Repeat the same process with the rest of your cut pasta sheets.
Step 27: Extra Pieces & Cooking
Eventually while you're cutting your pasta, you would come to realize that there will be a few extra pieces. Don't discard them, they are small enough to make mini raviolis. And because the filling for this pasta is main ingredients fresh cheeses, it wouldn't last long in the fridge. So eat it fresh the day you made it.
Begin by boiling a medium pot of water with 2 teaspoon of salt. Heat in up on your stove top on high heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Once it boils vigorously, place 5 filled pastas and let it cook for 5 minutes or until el dente.
Once cooked, toss them into your favorite pasta sauce. Whether it be brown butter sage, marinara, garlic olio with shaved aged parmesan, you do the call. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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