Scottos’ Valentine’s Day: Lasagna, banana pudding

These recipes from the Scottos will be sure to warm your heart and stomach on this romantic holiday. Try lasagna with meat sauce, shrimp stuffed with lump crab meat and banana pudding with warm chocolate sauce.

Lasagna with meat sauce
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6 to 8 servings


  • Tomato meat sauce

    • 5 cups tomato puree
    • 1 small onion (chopped)
    • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
    • 2 tablespoons basil (chopped)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 pound ground beef chop meat
    • Kosher salt to taste
  • Meat and cheese filling

    • 1 pound ground beef, sautéed until golden brown, and set aside
    • 5 cups meat sauce
    • 8 ounces mozzarella, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
    • 8 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
    • 12 ounces grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, reserving 4 ounces for top layer
    • 1 egg
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 1 pound fresh pasta sheets, cooked according to package directions


Baking Directions:

To make the tomato meat sauce, heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a medium size pot. Add the garlic, onion and chopped meat and cook until browned. In the same pot, add the tomato puree, basil and red pepper, stir and bring to a simmer. Taste the sauce and lightly season with kosher salt. Cook over low heat for 1 hour. For the meat and cheese filling, mix the mozzarella, ricotta, 8 ounces parmigiano reggiano in a large bowl then add the egg and stir until all the ingredients are blended together. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta till al dente and drain. To assemble the lasagna, pour 1 cup of tomato meat sauce in the bottom of 8 x 12-inch baking pan. Cover sauce with a layer of pasta sheets, cut the sheets if necessary to fit the pan. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the pasta. Spread 1/3 of the chopped meat. Add a ladle of tomato meat sauce. Repeat steps two more times. You will have three layers of pasta and three layers of filling. Spread the remaining cup of tomato meat sauce over the top layer of pasta and sprinkle with remaining 4 ounces parmigiano reggiano cheese over the sauce. Bake the lasagna in a 350 degrees F preheated oven for 1 hour until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes to let the lasagna set. Cut the lasagna into 8 pieces and serve.

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4 to 6 servings


  • Vegetables

    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 diced cup celery
    • 1/4 diced cup green bell pepper
    • 1/4 diced cup red bell pepper
    • 1/4 diced scallions
  • Seasoned mayonnaise

    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 dashes Tabasco pepper sauce
    • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Spice
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • Crabmeat and shrimp

    • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
    • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 2 dozen shrimp (16/20 or U/10), peeled and deveined with tails intact
  • Champagne sauce

    • 4 tablespoons minced shallots
    • 2 cups champagne
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup butter


Baking Directions:

To make the champagne sauce, add shallots and champagne to a small saucepan over low heat, and reduce until almost dry, about 10 minutes. Add heavy cream and reduce by half then whisk in butter, remove from heat, and serve; do not reheat. Sauté all vegetables in butter over medium to high heat until soft; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, Old Bay Spice and parsley; mix thoroughly. Mix vegetables and seasoned mayonnaise together, add crab meat and fold in bread crumbs. Make a cut lengthwise in the vein side of each shrimp, slicing only half way through so that the flesh will hold together. Place a spoonful of crab meat filling on each shrimp, cover and chill until ready to use. Turn broiler on high and place stuffed shrimp in baking dish with ¼ cup white wine or dry sherry. Place on middle rack of oven and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until shrimp are white and crab stuffing is golden brown.

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6 servings


  • Banana pudding

    • 5 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons banana liqueur (or 1 teaspoon banana flavoring)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Chocolate sauce

    • 2/3 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped
  • To assemble

    • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick, 1/2 banana per serving
    • 2 cups fresh whipped cream, 1/4 to 1/2 cup per serving
    • 1 cup warm chocolate sauce


Baking Directions:

To make the banana pudding, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and whisk a little at a time into the egg mixture. Once the bottom of the bowl is warm, slowly whisk in the remaining hot milk. Pour the mixture back into a clean medium saucepan (cleaning the saucepan prevents the pudding from scorching), add the banana liqueur, and whisk over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Cook while constantly whisking until the pudding is glossy and quite thick, 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the pudding to a clean bowl. Add the vanilla extract and butter to the bowl and gently whisk until the butter is completely melted and incorporated into the pudding. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 4 hours. For the chocolate sauce, bring water and corn syrup to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add both chocolates and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, set aside and keep warm. To assemble, place banana pudding in serving bowls, add the sliced bananas, top with fresh whipped cream and drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.