This Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Pasta Is Better Than Candy
If pasta is the key to your Valentine’s heart, this heart-shaped recipe is as romantic as it gets.
Inspired by corzetti, a flat pasta from northwestern Italy that uses wine for a little zing, this heart-shaped pasta is easy to transform into a range of pastel flavors. Depending on your color and flavor preferences, you can knead in a sprinkle of turmeric for yellow hearts, beet juice for hot pink or sriracha for red (don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the method).
This recipe uses rosé instead of white wine for a pink-ish Valentines Day hue, though any dry white works well too.
Ready for Valentine's Day date night? Make these adorable pastas with your sweetheart, or air dry the pasta for 12 hours before packaging it as a gift.
- Kitchen scale
- Heart-shaped cutter (any size will work, depending on how patient you are)
- Pasta roller (electric or hand-operated)
- Letterpress (optional)
- Bench scraper (helps clean countertops)
- Plastic wrap or dishtowel
- 320 grams of flour, split up into four separate 80 gram mounds (00 preferred, but all-purpose works fine)
- 1 jumbo egg
- 4 tablespoons rosé wine, split
- Pink Himalayan salt, or similar
- 1 cup warm water
- Natural coloring: Beet juice, turmeric, pureed spinach, tomato paste, sriracha
On a clean surface (like a countertop or butcher block), split the flour into four small mounds, digging a small hole in the center of each. Beat the egg in a small bowl, distribute evenly into the indent in the four separate mounds. Add one tablespoon rose wine to each.
While more experienced pasta-makers may want to play around with a range of colors, beginners can go the ombre pink route. In four separate bowls: Add 1 tablespoon of beet juice to the first, 2 to the second, 3 to the third, and 4 to the fourth. To the first bowl, add 3 tablespoons of water; to the second, add 2; to the third, add 1; and to the fourth, none. If the colors look too similar, dilute with water as needed and measure to make sure each bowl still has 4 tablespoons of liquid (reserve extra liquid in case pasta dries out).
Pour the first bowl, the lightest color, into a pasta mound and, with clean, dry hands, fold the dry ingredients into the wet, and knead until well incorporated. Dough should be shaggy and not too wet that it sticks to your fingers. If it’s sticky, sprinkle with flour, careful not to overwork the dough. Roll into a ball, about the size of an AirPod case.
Repeat for all four mounds, until you have four balls of varying pink hues. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap, or, to be old-fashioned/environmentally conscious, a dish towel, and let the dough rest for at least half an hour. The gluten is taking a break and you are too. You can prepare the dough a day before you’re ready to roll and cut it, but note that if you’re using fresh juice, the color may fade.
After the dough rests, flatten slightly and roll through a pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold horizontally and run through again. Adjust to one setting smaller, dust the sheet with flour, if it’s at all sticky, and run through. Keep gradually thinning the sheet, cutting in half with a scraper if it feels too long, until it’s about 2 millimeters thick, typically setting 4 on a pasta roller. Repeat for all dough and rest on a floured surface.
Now, it’s time to make hearts! The heart’s width is dependent on your desires and taste preference, though a medium, about 1-inch-wide shape, can be easiest to work with and cook. Williams Sonoma makes conversation heart cutters if you want to engrave a message on your pasta, and also sells a stacking set with several sizes if you want to experiment with hearts.
To engrave custom messages in your heart pasta, buy a set of vintage letterpress letters on Etsy for just a couple bucks. Once the pasta is cut, you’ll want to press your message in quickly before it dries.
For the message-less—don’t worry, it all tastes the same—allow pasta hearts to dry on a floured surface for at least two hours, up to 12, before storing in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To cook the hearts, add them to salted, boiling water, stirring frequently, for about four minutes, or until they float to the top and a test piece tastes al dente (that is, there’s still a little crunch in the middle). Toss them with olive oil and/or butter, shave some good hard cheese on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper and your heart will be very, very happy.