I think of this recipe each year around Valentine’s Day. Some years I make it, and some years I don’t, but it always comes to mind. Sorry I didn’t post it for you before the holiday came and went, but this was one of the years that I was going to pass on it. However, I thought I really should share it with you. Who can’t use a little “amore” any time of the year? Plus the memories associated with this recipe always make me smile. It also proves my point that I’ll try a recipe from just about any source.
It was just before Valentines Day 1993. My mom and I shared a love for the Regis and Kathie Lee Show. For the 15 years that they were on morning television together, my mom would watch the show in the morning, and I would tape it at my home, and watch it the next morning when I was on my treadmill, before going to work. We’d often talk about the shows and share a laugh or two, as they were a very funny duo. Francis Anthony, better know as the Love Chef, was frequently on the show, cooking and sharing his recipes. This particular episode with the Love Chef really caught our eye. I knew that I didn’t need to pause my tape and treadmill to write down the recipe, because I was most certain that my mother would have written it down the morning before. I was right. Later that day she called me to tell me that she had written it down, and we were both eager to try it. Once we did, it certainly was “amore.”
I thought it was cute that my mom wrote the recipe in red ink, in honor of Valentine’s Day, and I, of course, had to buy their cookbook, which does have many wonderful recipes that I tried throughout the 1990s. Upon glancing through the cookbook recently, it brought back lots of memories from the show and that era in time. That’s what I love about old recipes……the memories. I hope this creates some new ones for you and your loved ones, with “amore.”
RECIPE: serves 4
6 TBSP olive oil
2 bunched scallions, chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large very ripe tomato, chopped or 4 Italian plum tomatoes (from can), chopped
2 TBSP capers
2 to 3 TBSP chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
1 cup ricotta
1 lb. ziti or penne pasta
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, in which to cook the pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the scallions, red pepper and tomatoes for 5 to 7 minutes (stirring), or until vegetables are tender,
- Add the capers and basil and continue stirring.
- Add the ricotta, pepper and salt. Simmer until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
- Drain the pasta. Add the sauce and toss to combine. Top with mozzarella cheese.