Valentine's Day Dinner for Two

Contrary to popular opinion, dining out on Valentine's Day is for amateurs. 

The restaurants are loud and crowded, the food is overpriced, and there's a good chance that you'll be forced to watch a PDA fest from a couple sitting on the same side of a booth.

If you really love someone, the most romantic thing you can do is to cook for them! This year, why not stay in and make a sexy pasta dinner for two. 

I love this Shrimp Scampi Pasta because it looks and tastes incredible but more importantly, it's light and there's almost no clean up. The last thing you want on Valentine's Day is a heavy meal and a sink full of dirty dishes.

  • 1 pound medium to large shrimp (uncooked), peeled and de-veined
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 Tbsp white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 can diced organic canned tomatoes (drained)
  • 8 thin slices lemon
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Cooked pasta
    First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

    While the oven is heating up, start boiling water for your pasta.

    If you have a great fish market near you, buy your shrimp fresh. But if you don't, frozen shrimp are perfectly fine. I like shrimp that are de-veined but still have the shell on. The shell protects them from being frozen without losing too much moisture, and buying them de-veined will save you a lot of prep time and keep it sexy. Cleaning poop out of shrimp is never sexy.

    Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and set aside while you assemble your parchment packets.

    Start by laying 4 pieces of parchment paper about 12 inches long (each) out on the counter. We're creating four parchment packets that we'll cook the shrimp in so start by folding each piece of parchment in half before folding up the two opposite ends and stapling them in place like this.

    Next, divide the shrimp between the 4 pieces of parchment along with the garlic, capers, lemon zest and green onions.

    In a separate bowl, mix the 8 Tbsp white wine and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Divide the liquid into the 4 parchment envelopes.

    Finally, add 1 tsp butter (broken into pieces), 1/4 of the diced tomatoes and 2 lemon slices to each packet.

    Fold the remaining open end of the parchment tightly, stapling it securely to form your flavor package. Place on baking sheet.

    Bake in 350 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. When the packets are done cooking, tear open an end of the parchment and pour over pasta that's been cooked according to the package directions. Cappellini and angel hair pasta are great options but use whatever you like.

    And there you have it. An elegant and romantic dinner that is easy to assemble and easy to clean up. You can serve it like the photo on the left if you're watching your calories or you can top with a healthy dose of basil and Parmesan cheese like I did. Pair it with the leftover wine, a little Al Green, and some candlelight for maximum impact.