Pasta to wow your valentine

Diane Rossen Worthington
Tribune Content Agency

So much has been written about pasta and whether or not it is good for us. The latest literature suggests it’s best to use whole grain pastas, but Valentine’s Day is when I throw caution to the wind and go for it big time.

What follows is one seriously simple pasta recipe that will wow your partner. It takes almost no time to prepare (a good-quality, store-bought fresh pasta cooks in just a couple of minutes in boiling, salted water). Keep in mind that the cooking time will be longer if you use dried pasta.

The dish incorporates luxurious smoked salmon and golden caviar in a simple cream sauce. If you can’t find golden caviar, look for salmon caviar.

The pasta would make a stellar meal for your Valentine’s Day menu. To drink? A good quality Prosecco, California sparkling wine or Champagne will make your dinner a memorable celebration.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon,

Dill and Caviar

For the sauce

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch finely ground white pepper

For the pasta

1 tablespoon salt

3/4 pound fresh semolina egg pasta like tagliarini or fettuccine

1/4 pound smoked salmon, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 ounces golden or salmon caviar

Dill sprigs, for garnish

For the sauce: Heat the cream in a saute pan over moderately high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup. Add cream cheese and whisk until slightly thickened. Add butter and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To cook the pasta, add salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add pasta and cook over high heat until al dente, about 1 to 3 minutes. Drain well.

Toss the hot pasta with sauce in the saute pan. Sprinkle in smoked salmon, dill and 1/3 of the caviar over pasta and mix gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.

Divide among individual serving plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with remaining caviar and dill sprigs. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Per serving: 1,146 calories; 66 g fat (36 g saturated fat; 52 percent calories from fat); 98 g carbohydrates; 4 g sugar; 500 mg cholesterol; 1,532 mg sodium; 40 g protein; 1 g fiber.