Love At First Bite

Happy Valentine’s Day! This week’s recipe feature we’re sharing a simple and super delicious meal for you and your valentine. The recipe below reminds me of Lady And The Tramps most famous scene where Lady and Tramp first lock eyes and lips over a classic bowl of pasta, but for this one we’re doing without the meatballs and adding a little twist to the sauce. So for Valentine’s dinner this evening, settle in with your love, light a candle or two and enjoy each others company with this heartwarming and sexy meal.

And yes, I mean sexy. The almonds in this pasta dish may have you feeling a little more loving than usual. Throughout antiquity almonds have been regarded as fertility symbols. The aroma of almonds supposedly aroused passion in females – or so thought the poets and writers of bygone days. It is believed that French writer, Alexandre Dumas, dined on almond soup every night before meeting his mistress. But that’s not all, these sexy nuts are packed with vitamin E, magnesium and fiber, all of which will help to improve bone health, heart health and general well-being.

Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto


3/4 cup (85 grams) slivered almonds
1 large handful fresh basil leaves
1 to 2 large garlic cloves
Several sprinkles of sea salt
6 ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup (50 grams) grated Pecorino or Parmesan
1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 ml) olive oil
1 pound (455 grams) linguine

In a large skillet, sauté the almonds in a little olive oil until toasted. Let cool, then blend them in a food processor or blender until they are in coarse pieces.  Scoop them out of the processor and set them aside.

Put the basil, garlic and a few pinches of sea salt into the food processor and chop. Add the almonds back to the food processor (keeping them separate will keep them from getting too finely chopped as you get the basil and garlic to the right texture) with the tomatoes, cheese and olive oil and whirl briefly. Season it with freshly ground black pepper.

Cook your linguine until al dente and could use another minute of cooking time. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water and drain the rest. Immediately toss the hot linguine with the pesto and mix quickly so that it drinks the sauce up a bit. Add more pasta water if needed. Serve immediately, or at room temperature.

Recipe and photo: Smitten Kitchen

And for dessert, why not indulge in more aphrodisiacs? This decadent vegan Chocolate Pots De Créme will have you and your valentine – love at first bite.

Chocolate Pots De Créme

1 14 oz can regular coconut milk
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 cup basil leaves, coarsely torn
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon crushed peppercorns (can use a few turns of black pepper from you pepper grinder)

Put the coconut milk in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

Put the chocolate in a blender or food processor and pour the hot coconut milk over it. Add basil, agave, orange zest, vanilla extract, and pepper and blend until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Divide among four small cups. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Serve and enjoy.


Recipe and photo: CleanGreenSimple with Speed Vegan


2 responses to “Love At First Bite

  1. Both dishes look amazing! I love the idea of using basil and pepper in the chocolate pots de creme!

    • Hi Juicejamandjoy, thanks for your note. Oh, the pasta dish is quite delicious with such clean and simple flavors. As for the dessert; it’s rich, kind of like a party in your mouth. I hope you get the chance to try them out soon, if not this evening.

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