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Bowtie Pasta (and Everything Else) for Valentine's Dinner

 I plan to cook for my husband for Valentine's Day. He loves pasta. I want to make something with bowtie pasta and veggies. The next thing: I don't know what to make for a appetizer and dessert. Any ideas?

 So basically you have bupkis. Have we got that right – we're starting from scratch here?

An obvious choice for a pasta main dish is Pasta Primavera – a mix of pasta (doesn't have to be bowtie, but it certainly can be) and vegetables that's pointing with hope towards spring (which is what primavera means in English).

Spring (however distant), love, pasta – for what more could you ask? Oh yeah, the appetizer. We'd do a simple finger food – something like cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto, or asparagus spears rolled up in small crepes that have been spread with a little Boursin cheese.

For the dessert, how soon can you get started? One of our favorite romantic desserts is Coeur à la Crème (not diet food, but how often does Valentine's Day come around?) It requires a special heart-shaped, pierced mold that you can find in some kitchenware stores and online. They are available in small sizes for individual desserts (which doesn't seem particularly Valentiney) or a larger size for a shared dessert. You may have to begin your hunt fairly early to be sure of having the mold on hand in time for the special day (actually the day before the special day, since the Coeur has to drain overnight in the mold).

Another dessert option, if you'd rather swing towards chocolate, is the Midnight Torte, which also needs to be made a day in advance.

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