Love Is In The Air Love Nests


March 22, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson

pasta-love-nestsI LOVE making these #Love Is In The Air Love Nests, especially on Valentine’s Day!

I don’t know WHAT has gotten into me lately!

As SOON as I enter my kitchen, music starts!

It doesn’t matter what song, from what era, but music starts; if “only” in my head!

Anyone who “knows” me, “knows” my passion aka “enthusiasm” for life and cooking

I now can add baking too!

So, the other day when I entered my kitchen, (and no, the radio was not on lol), I started hearing John Paul Young‘s Love Is In The Air to which I started “singing” (remember it is not my best family trait like in If I Knew You Were Coming Pound Cake; but it never stops me from enjoying “the passion” when it comes to cooking and food! πŸ˜‰

I hope this song gets you in the mood too! πŸ˜‰


It was after I sung this song MANY TIMES with John aka JPY aka “Squeak” (lol) that it dawned on me that I had saved a recipe forΒ #Love Is In The Air Love Nests aka Love Nests in my What’s On The ListΒ  folder from Michelle Southan, the Food Editor of Australian Good Taste (August 2012).

I “specifically” remembered the quote that went with the recipe:
“Enter into a whirlwind romance with this dish – we guarantee it will blossom into a life-long affair.”

Well, I must have gotten caught up in the whirlwind romance and created my passionately “adapted” rustic version of Love Is In The Air Love Nests. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

Love Is In The Air Love Nests
#fun #romantic #easy #entertaining #pasta #spaghetti #recipe
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
  • Ingredients for Marinara Sauce
  • 2 x 28 ounce (~4½ cans 400 grams) diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 6 anchovies, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon Xylitol (feel free to substitute sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 40 grams pancetta, finely diced
  • 40 grams chorizo sausage meat
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Ingredients for Bechamel
  • 10 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 125 ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • Ingredients for Filling
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 120 grams fresh ricotta
  • 75 grams frozen chopped spinach, thawed; WELL drained of any excess liquid
  • 65 grams sun dried tomatoes
  • oil spray
  • Other Ingredients
  • 250 grams dried Barilla Wholewheat Spaghetti No 5
  1. For Marinara
  2. Heat deep fry pan then add oil; fry onions for about 3 minutes; add garlic; fry additional 2 minutes until onions are soft.
  3. Add in tomato paste; stir for about a minute until combined.
  4. Add in diced tomatoes in tomato juice, bay leaf, anchovies, water, red pepper flakes and xylitol; adjust to personal taste.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.
  6. In additional fry pan, fry pancetta and chorizo sausage meat until golden brown; add to marinara mixture.
  7. For Bechamel
  8. In a saucepan, add all bechamel ingredients (except cheese) and stir "continuously" with a wooden spoon until sauce thickens.
  9. Heat oven to 180C. (350F)
  10. Place breadcrumbs on a baking tray; bake for 5 minutes (until dry, not browned); remove; set aside.
  11. In a bowl, combine ricotta and spinach.
  12. NOTE
  13. Can combine 50 grams (~1.7 ounces) of the 65 to the spinach and ricotta or you can save it to top the nests before baking; your choice
  14. For Other Ingredients
  15. Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water; cook for 7 minutes (al dente); drain; oil spray; set aside for about 10 minutes.
Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water; cook for 7 minutes (al dente); drain; oil spray; set aside for about 10 minutes.
For hints, tips and notes on assembly, head over to What's On The List

“ASSEMBLE, ASSEMBLE, ASSEMBLE!” (seems to be a favorite food expression of mine too! πŸ˜‰

I used an 10 inch round fluted pan. (choose what round dish works for you πŸ˜‰ )

This held 4 nests “comfortably” You may need more than one pan depending on how much you would like to make.

Hint and Tip
Oil spray bottom of the pan as it will make cleaning easier later!

Place ladles of marinara (I used about 3 -4) in the bottom of the dish.

Here is a GREAT tip I developed “by accident

Place 1/2 cup of cooked pasta into a plastic measuring cup. Place the 1/4 plastic cup inside the cup with pasta. If you don’t have plastic measuring cups, you get the idea that the spaghetti needs to be “packed” down tightly; can do by hand while pasta is “in” something.

QUICKLY, turn measuring cup over onto marinara sauce; be gentle but quick lol You want it so it looks like a mound.

G-E-N-T-L-Y, with the back of a teaspoon push down on the spaghetti to form a round hold without going through the bottom of the spaghetti. You can stop with the teaspoon fits inside the nest with a bit a room around it too!

Trust me, it IS EASY; SOUNDS difficult, but is easy and if you ‘talk to the spaghetti” like I do, it will be “more than happy” to help you create this U-N-I-Q-U-EΒ #Love Is In The Air Love Nests too! πŸ™‚

Anything in the name of love” it “wooed” me! πŸ™‚

I “wonder” am I the only one food talks to or is it because of my “passion” in creating this Love Is In The Air Love Nests recipe?

Place 1 – 2 teaspoons of spinach ricotta mixture in the base of the nests.

With a spoon (or with your fingers) GENTLY push down until it covers the base.

You do not want to push too hard that the nest will collapse.

Top with 1 -2 teaspoons of bechamel sauce.

Top with breadcrumbs; can add a few pieces of shredded cheese (optional)

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

I was SO glad last year I had put #Love Is In The Air Love Nests aka Love Nestson the list” and it is now “off the list“, TRUE!

I know it “sounds” like a long list of things to do, but you can make this easily and economically too!

#Love Is In The Air Love Nests reheats well the next day too! πŸ™‚

I SO hope I can “inspire” you to do! πŸ™‚

I personally love cooking with Barilla Wholewheat Spaghetti No 5 and Barilla Wholewheat pastas as it has 3 times more fibre than regular pasta; healthy and tasty as can be!

Look forward to more recipes with Barilla pasta products in the future to see! πŸ™‚


If you enjoyed this post, please follow me via email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest!

Please feel free to share these #Love Is In The Air Love Nests!

Psst….I LOVE being PINNED….on Pinterest for Valentine’s Day dishes too!

Would you LOVE to try making or enjoying these #Love Is In The Air Love Nests being made for YOU?

All comments “on my blog” brighten my day!

I wonder how these #Love Is In The Air Love Nests would taste with Vegetable Marinara Sauce?

HOW romantic are these #Love Is In The Air Love Nests for you?


24 thoughts on “Love Is In The Air Love Nests

  1. Air Love Nests look very interesting! I enjoyed reading about them!!! The recipe looks simple and direct!!!

  2. jodie says:

    These look absolutely “lovely”!

  3. I love pasta dishes, although hubby won’t eat them that much. But I am thinking he might like this and I am going to give it a try.. Maybe he will as “Love is in the Air”

  4. What a great recipe, Joanne! That song ‘Love is in the Air’ is so pervasive I think I’ll have it in my head from now on when I go into the kitchen to cook.

  5. I love making pasta nests but never thought about it for Valentine’s Day, sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat Link Party!

    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

  6. Love the recipes. They look great, especially the nests! Thank you for joining Foodie Friends Friday!

  7. babso2you says:

    Looks amazing and a must try!

  8. Anoushka says:

    That sauce sounds wonderful!

  9. terry1954 says:

    Now you can start mixing and beating to the beat of the music!

  10. Gorgeous dinner Joanne! And I noticed that you used the Barilla wholemeal spaghetti-I also love this. I find it difficult to find though which is a bummer πŸ™

    • Thanks Lorraine! Initially I had difficulty located it too, but my local Coles now has a wide variety of Barilla products too!

      I can follow up with Barilla tomorrow and find out where locally you can purchase and will get back to you! πŸ™‚

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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