Pink Cognac Sauce for Your Valentine

I know I said I’d post about my AeroGarden today—- but when I made this dish I knew it just HAD to be posted pre-Valentine’s Day.   So, the AeroGarden was bumped to Tuesday, all in the name of love.  😉

If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day meal to make for your significant other…this is it.  It’s pink (practically a requirement).  It’s pasta (who doesn’t love pasta?).  It uses a couple of fancy ingredients (sure to impress).  It is delicious (duh!).  And best of all?  It is pretty straightforward to make, leaving you plenty of time for Valentine’s Day romancing!

The inspiration for this recipe came from a few different places.  When I came home from a long day of skiing on Sunday, I was hankering for something really good.  The first part of the inspiration came when I opened my freezer to discover a bag of frozen langostino tails that I’d picked up the week prior.  In restaurants, langostinos are usually described as tiny lobsters, but according to Wikipedia, they are actually more closely related to a variety of crab.  The tails I purchased were about the size of a medium shrimp, but have a more delicate flavor, similar to a lobster.  I set them in a bowl of cold water to defrost and decided what I’d do with them.

I definitely wanted to use the langostinos with pasta of some sort, and remembered a dish served at one of my very favorite local restaurants.  “Fettuccine alla Mitty” is a pasta dish with scallops and shrimp and served in a pink cognac sauce.   I’m not sure who “Mitty” is, but I’d like to think the dish was created in his or her name as some grand romantic gesture.  It is pasta perfection.  But since I didn’t have that recipe, I decided to rework my Vodka sauce recipe into a pink Cognac sauce.   To my surprise, it turned out really well and was an après-ski success.  It should definitely win you some big points with your Valentine!

Fettuccine with Langostinos and Pink Cognac Sauce

Serves 4 (or 2 with lots of leftovers)

1 lb fettuccine

12 oz cooked langostino tails, thawed if frozen ( I got mine frozen at Trader Joe’s)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 -28 oz can crushed tomatoes

¾ cup half and half (okay to substitute light cream or whipping cream, if desired)

¼ cup Cognac brandy

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Set a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent.

Add crushed tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add half and half and Cognac.  Stir to combine and lower heat to medium.  Cook for another 10 minutes until slightly thickened.  Add langostinos during the last few minutes of cooking time, just enough to heat through.

Drain pasta and add to pot with sauce.  Toss to combine. 

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with parsley and grated cheese.

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4 Responses to “Pink Cognac Sauce for Your Valentine”

  1. Donna Says:

    You did the right thing by bumping the Aerogarden to next week. This recipe looks and sounds amazing! I already planned my Valentine’s dinner (a georgeous Delmonico) but I’ll make this dish another Saturday night.

  2. Tracy Says:

    Hope your Delmonico turned out great! Let me know how you like this once you give it a try. We all devoured it in my house!

  3. Becky Says:

    Hi. Stumbled upon your site after trying to figure out what to do with the frozen langostino I bought at Trader Joe’s. I thought your sauce was terrific. Added 2 cloves of chopped garlic, only half a can of tomatoes. But, the thawed langostino lacked flavor and I would encourage people to make your recipe with uncooked shrimp or something else fresh (or frozen, then thawed) that’s allowed to cook in the sauce till opaque. Sometimes TJ’s lets me down and this was one of those times. Nice flavor combinations though!

  4. Tracy Says:

    Thanks, Becky! I actually liked the mild flavor of the langostinos… and my young kids didn’t protest like they usually do with other shellfish! I was actually thinking of using both shrimp and scallops together…I’ll keep you posted!

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