Hint: it’s not spuh-ghi-tee.
For Giada De Laurentiis—chef, restaurant owner and TV personality who just opened Pronto, her second Las Vegas restaurant, this month—love is pasta. So, it makes perfect sense that the Rome-born chef saves one extra-special variation for Valentine’s Day: Heart-shaped ravioli.
“I don’t know why [but when] I think of Valentine's and romance, I think of ravioli,” De Laurentiis tells Wonderwall in an interview. “To me, they’re light, but they’re sexy and very romantic.”
Instead of making the pasta dough by hand, De Laurentiis buys wonton wrappers to make the whole process a little easier. She fills the wrappers with cheese – often a mix of ricotta and mozzarella – and suggests mixing in herbs or spinach.
De Laurentiis personally opts out of this last step, though. “I don’t put green in there because my daughter doesn’t like it,” she says. At nine years old, De Laurentiis’ daughter, Jade, gets excited about the Valentine’s Day tradition. “When she was younger she was like, ‘I want regular pasta with butter,’" De Laurentiis says. “Now she likes it.”
When it comes to plating, the chef keeps it simple with a plain tomato basil pomodoro sauce. “I lay the pomodoro down first and I put the heart-shaped ravioli on top of it,” she says. After that, De Laurentiis usually serves crostinis topped with aioli and thinly-sliced filet. And for dessert, it's always something chocolate.
When you've got a life as busy as Giada's, routine likely sounds pretty appealing. So it's understandable that she has a go-to dish every time February 14 comes along. (She happens to be a creature of habit on her birthday every year, too, when she makes Ina Garten's chocolate cassis cake. Talk about a power couple.)
Of course Giada has a slew of other recipes that would go over well on Valentine's Day (Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Prosecco Strawberries, anyone?). But her heart-shaped ravioli sounds like a perfect V-Day dinner to us.