Love is in the Air
With Valentine's Day only a couple of days away it's always a challenge finding your loved one something special. My recommendation from dude to dude is to follow the actual ancient tradition of Saint Valentine's Day and hand write a letter, yes I said it HAND WRITE. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing. If you are having writers block here are a couple tips on what to say: tell her what you love about her, maybe throw in one of the special times that you have shared that solidified your feelings for her, it doesn’t have to be long, just the fact that you took the time to write something should be enough for her to feel special, oh and as the ancient story goes you have to sign it “Your Valentine” Here are a couple more tips that wouldn’t be a bad idea, include a few red roses and if you want to hit a grand slam, cook her dinner, again doesn’t have to be over the top but take a step out of your comfort zone and make it happen.
I don’t know about you but I never expect anything in return for Valentine’s Day. This day is a for her, I am generalizing here but we as dudes are not the easiest to deal with and this is the day every year we can really express our true love for the one that makes you or at least continues to try to make you a better person.
Here is one of my personal favorites to cook that is very easy. Make sure you have your playlist ready and nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir by your side while cooking as it always seems to make the time fly.
Thank you to Rachael Ray for always providing great and easy things to cook.
Total: 25 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
- Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently sauté shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half; this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.