Monday, February 14, 2011
the way to my man's heart is paved in basil
I made this our first Valentine's Day when we were married (for those of you keeping score, that was a mere 12 years ago). I've made it almost every VDay since. Its not red. Its not steak. There are no oysters or other aphrodisiacs (that I know of). But there is basil. And lots of it. And he loves it.
The recipe comes from my friend, Mario. He calls it Leguria Pesto. I call it Valentine Pasta. (you say tomato, I say yum)
1 c fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c fresh (ie. not from a can) Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil
Combine everything except the oil in a food processor. Start grinding and add oil in a slow stream to make a nice paste.
1 pkg cheese-filled tortellini
diced new potatoes
asparagus, cut into fork-sized lengths
You want to have equal amounts of potatoes and asparagus (btw, nice green beans can be substituted if the asparagus at your store is just out of the question, because as we all know good asparagus is good and bad asparagus is more than bad). The amounts of potatoes and asparagus should equal the amount of pasta. I'm sure there's an easier way of saying that, but it escapes me at this time.
Cook the tortellini according to pkg directions. With 5 minutes left of cooking (and really if you are using fresh tortellini, they may cook in less than that), add your potatoes. Add the asparagus with only 3 minutes left of cooking. Reserve a cup of cooking liquid before you drain. Drain, but don't rinse. Transfer to a large bowl and toss the pasta with the pesto you made earlier. If it is too dry, sprinkle in a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid. Serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese and wear something skimpy (oh no, wait - what i meant was don't skimp on the cheese!)