What’s For Dinner: Valentine Pasta - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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What’s For Dinner: Valentine Pasta


Pasta with Spicy Sun-Dried-Tomato Cream Sauce 

Bon Appétit | October 2000

Yield: Makes (4 main-course) servings

For some reason this dish reminds me of Valentine’s Day, and if you use heart shaped pasta (available everywhere this time of year), it fits the holiday perfectly. I apologize that I don’t have a better photo, but trust me, this is delicious! I sometimes grill or saute chicken to go along with this, and I’ve heard that shrimp go nicely with it as well. Add a salad or side veggie, and it’s a lovely meal for you and your Valentine. If you're making this for kids, you can leave the crushed red pepper out.

Want a simple dessert to follow this? Chocolate ice cream with fresh raspberries, if you can find them (or frozen, thawed, if not). Yum!


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup whipping cream

1 7.25-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 pound penne pasta

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cream, red peppers and crushed red pepper; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and simmer 1 minute longer.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce, cheese and 1/2 cup basil and toss to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to pasta to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper.

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