Perhaps its just coming off our birthday highs, we just dig Valentine's Day. Everyone is happy to wear red. Everyone is happy to get presents wrapped in red. And everyone is happy to eat their dinner which is green.
The first year we were married I decided to get all fancy and make the fanciest meal I knew how - Leguria Pesto. It was really good. So good that Nate asked if it would be all right if we make it every Valentine's Day. I pretty much think we have for the last 14 consecutive years. Want to try it????
1 c fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c 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 filled tortellini
diced new potatoes
asparagus, cut into fork-sized lengths (we sometimes do green beans)
Cook tortellini according to pkg directions. Add potatoes with 5 minutes of cook time remaining. Add asparagus with 3 min remaining. Drain - don't rinse. Transfer to bowl. Add pesto to pasta and toss until pasta is covered.
I copied this recipe down on the back of an envelope as I was watching a cooking show on PBS back in college. The year was either 1995 or 1996. The chef said that as you prepare and enjoy this dish you will "feel the sounds of the waves of the Mediterranean." That chef hadn't hit big yet. His name was Mario Batali.
We dig our pesto so much on Valentine's Day that everyone is more than willing to participate in a series of self-portraits: