Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli Hearts – Losing in Love

spinach and artichoke ravioli hearts
Like every very good food blogger, I served a Valentine’s Day dinner last night. It wasn’t the best tasting meal I’ve ever prepared. To be quite honest, it wasn’t even all that good.

*sigh*

But it wasn’t the worst.

Last weekend, I spent the whole time thinking about themes because really, if there’s one thing I learned from Sandra Lee, every meal has to have a theme. Ethnic? Small Plates? Color? Pink tablescape! Prissy pink cocktail in a pink cocktail glass. Pink dinnerware! Pink dinner wear! Skin-tight pink sweater with a matching pink Chanel-esque quilted headband! Don’t think I wouldn’t do it. I would. I love pink.

I spent Monday and Tuesday looking through cookbooks for inspiration, planning the menu, pulling recipes for coaching, listing dishes, listing out ingredients dish by dish, translating the ingredients list into a shopping list cross-referenced by store.

This is what happens to me. I brainstorm. I plan. I make lists of lists of things I will have to list out later. Then I fill in the lists. Then I transcribe the detailed lists into Excel. I re-list them into matrix format. I create project plans, workplans, timelines, and I don’t know why, but I even include the “resource” column and yes, every single resource cell in my twenty-by-twenty matrix says “Sarah.”

Okay, that last phrase is not true.

The column actually says “SG.”

Maybe I miss working.

Or maybe I miss having something to which I can “escape” when real-life things get difficult for me to handle. I have a tendency to do that. I don’t do it consciously as it’s happening. It’s only after I find myself three days unshowered in three-days unwashed sweatpants curled up under my Binkie with a generic store brand zipper top bag half empty of dried mango on a Friday night alone because I haven’t called my parents, I haven’t seen my sisters, I haven’t hung out with my friends in omghowlong?!?!, that I realize that oops, I did it again.

Something in my life got scary or weird or stressful or frustrating or uncontrollable or something, and oops, I threw myself into my work so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Again.

And again.

And again.

But I don’t have “work” as an excuse anymore.

And so I have to deal with that scary or weird or stressful or frustrating or uncontrollable or something that’s there.

I have to *gasp!* deal with it.

Scary.

Or maybe I can just lose myself for two days straight, smothering sadness in tomato sauce, breaking artichoke hearts, cutting out heart-shaped ravioli with gentle violence, throwing confusion into an all-red salad, and baking brownies for a brownie fudge sundae.

Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli Hearts
Preheat iTunes to the Crystal Method. Nothing shrieks “Valentine’s Day” louder than a little aural substance abuse.

Drain 1 pound of ricotta cheese for about an hour. Normal people do this by putting the ricotta cheese in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. I used coffee filters. It worked.

Wash and dry 1 pound of fresh spinach. Don’t think a mention of the Semi-ho is license to use a 10 oz package of frozen spinach. This is just ravioli. Save the frozen stuff for gourmet dishes like Spinach Dip made from dried vegetable soup mix.

Heat 1-2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet. Saute 3-4 cloves chopped fresh garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach just wilts. Remove spinach and garlic from pan, let cool, squeeze out as much moisture from the spinach, then roughly chop.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, ½ c. grated parmesan cheese, pinch of nutmeg, and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in chopped spinach and 1 c. (about half can) chopped artichoke hearts.

Cut fresh wonton wrappers into hearts with a giant heart-shaped cookie cutter. Do I have to state the obvious here? If it’s not Valentine’s Day, then use whatever shape is appropriate, or just leave them as squares.

Lay a few wonton hearts on a dry cutting board. Spoon 1 Tbsp of spinach and artichoke filling into the center of each heart. Brush the edges of the hearts with 1 lightly beaten egg. Lay another wonton heart on top, press down gently around the filling so that there are no air pockets, then seal edges.

To cook ravioli, bring a pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Place a few ravioli at a time in the boiling water. They will sink, but will float back to the top after 3-4 minutes when they are ready.

I served my ravioli with a tomato sauce that was accidentally too spicy because the G*d**ned perforated shaker top on the red pepper flakes fell off. Thank God it turned out to be a delicious accident otherwise I would have had a total meltdown. Because that’s what I do when it’s that time of the month. I have meltdowns over tomato sauce.

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  • H. C.

    But where are the tablescapes and “cocktail time”?! ;)

    The hearts looked adorable — though if they were in front of me I’d probably get the urge to squeeze out the stuffing onto a crostini. Oops, sorry for bursting the heart-violi!

  • sarah

    hc: i believe that makes you a…omy…a…heart breaker.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the recipe for the tomato sauce?

  • jpcalkins

    Sounds Great. I have a quick and easy sauce recipe that turns out incredible. Saute my garlic and fresh vegetables in olive oil. Add sea salt and Tones seasoning “Zesty for Spaghetti”, place enough that it absorbs the oil. Then add can tomatoes and it is ready in 30 minutes. http://hotcookies.net

  • sarah

    anonymous: it’s very basic, really – just a can of tomatoes, crushed by hand, a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, a lot of finely chopped garlic, a few hits with dried basil and oregano, salt and pepper, and a pat of butter.

    jpcalkins: thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    You sure went to a lot of trouble for dinner…must have been for someone pretty special???

  • Johnny Zone

    I love it, nice red tomatoey hearts in bowl filled with artichokes and fresh spinach. Very cool.

  • Tarie

    Yummm. I want spinach and artichoke ravioli hearts, too!

    Belated Happy Valentine’s Day. :)

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