1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes (chopped and drained)
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh sweet basil, plus 2 whole leaves
Toasted pine nuts
In a small dish, combine boiling water with crushed saffron, stir and let stand. Wash asparagus spears, remove the woody ends and chop spears into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook bowtie pasta according to package directions. One minute before the pasta is finished cooking, add the asparagus.
Drain cooked pasta and asparagus into a colander. Once fully drained, return the pasta and asparagus to the pot. Toss with the saffron mixture, drizzle with a little olive oil and keep warm. In a medium-sized bowl, toss shrimp with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and dash of black pepper.
Heat a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, then add shrimp to pot and saute until pink. Transfer shrimp to a medium bowl using a slotted spoon.
In the same stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent.
Add the red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds to toast the pepper. Add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat until its volume is reduced by half.
Whisk the tomato paste and chicken broth together in a small bowl and add to the stockpot along with the chopped tomatoes. When this mixture has come to a gentle boil, reduce heat to simmer.
Once the tomato-stock mixture is heated through, add in the chopped basil, cooked shrimp, pasta and asparagus and heat while gently tossing. Garnish with a whole basil leaf and a few toasted pine nuts before serving. Serves 4.
Chef Chris Scarduzio concocted this special Valentine's Day drink for his Table 31 restaurant in the Comcast Center at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard.
Imbibe with love in mind.
GODIVA WHITE CHOCOLATE KISS MARTINI
3 ounces Godiva White Chocolate
3 ounces Navan Natural Vanilla
1 ounce Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
1 chocolate-covered cherry
Shake Godiva and Navan with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Carefully pour the Chambord in the center of the martini, allowing it to settle in the bottom. Garnish with a chocolate-covered cherry candy. Serves 1.