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On Valentine’s Day evening, Dave walked into the house with two huge bouquets of flowers for me and I made seafood pasta for him. Although dinner was delicious, I think I got the better end of that exchange. The meal is long over and there have been four more dinners since then, but my beautiful flowers are still bringing me the reminder of being loved. <3

Note: To make the rose napkins above; Open a large cloth napkin. Fold in half diagonally. Beginning at the long end, roll into a rope. Then start at one end of the rope and roll into a spiral. Secure with a paper clip if needed and “garnish” with real rose leaves. I swiped the ones I used from my neighbor’s yard! She loves me, so it’s OK.

Spaghetti with Lobster, Shrimp, and Seared Scallops with a Chunky-Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

One 1-pound lobster tail
8 large (21-25 count) raw shrimp, deveined
32-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
4 large sea scallops
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-ounces dry spaghetti
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the lobster tail, once the water comes back up to boil, boil for 12 to 14 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add the shrimp, cooking both until both until they are just opaque in the center. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove and set aside to cool slightly. Reserve the water in the pot.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the tomatoes, with the juices, to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes to reduce. Use a potato masher to break up and mash slightly. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic salt; stir, cover and continue to cook over the lowest heat, stirring occasionally.

When the lobster is cool enough to handle, cut open, remove the meat and cut into bite-size pieces. Peel the shrimp, slice in half horizontally and set aside with the lobster meat.  Return the lobster and shrimp shells to the pot and bring back up to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the shells and discard. Cover and reserve the water in the pot.

While the shells are simmering, pat scallops dry with paper towels and generously season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear the scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes total. Remove from skillet and cut each scallop into quarters, add to reserved lobsters and shrimp.

Bring the water in the large pot back up to a boil and add the spaghetti, return to a boil and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, uncover and increase the heat under the tomatoes to medium, add the half and half and stir to combine, add the reserved seafood to heat through.

Drain the pasta and divide between two large dinner plates. Spoon the tomato-seafood sauce over the pasta and garnish with basil and cheese.

Serves 2


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