The candles slowly flicker,
Soft music fills the air.
The aroma from the kitchen,
Is tantalizingly there.
A smile across the table,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Love is overflowing, for now is the time,
To say, you will always be my valentine.
It brings back so many memories for me, I recall a walk through the Borghese Gallery, in absolute awe of Bernini, Caravaggio and Raphael. The artists of the past are just that, truly amazing artists. Having toured through the gallery I headed to a locale and had my very first taste of Shrimp Florentine, a simple dish prepared with finesse. It had truly delicate flavours that, in memory, captivate to today.
This is a very simple dish to create for your loved one. Aromas leap from the plate, the lemon adds a certain flair to the freshly cooked shrimp. Colours sparkle with the green and yellow, just like her eyes.
Here is what you will need
2 cups fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh crushed garlic
1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped red pepper
1 ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon fresh grated zest of lemon
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon
1 lemon thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cream
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 package fresh baby spinach
Place a large pot on the stove, half fill with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Bring to boil, then place pasta inside and cook through. Once cooked, strain through a sieve and place to one side.
Melt butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add garlic, shrimp, and crushed red pepper; let simmer gently for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the cooked pasta, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and spinach into the frying pan and mix all the ingredients together. Leave to simmer until spinach starts to wilt. Add the fresh cream and stir through, this gives the Florentine a rich deep taste.
Once cooked, place on the plate and dress with some fresh thin slices of lemon. Enjoy. Happy Valentines Day.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef.