Here's an opportunity to snag a final taste at Valentino before the restaurant throws in the towel four decades after launch. Owner Piero Selvaggio has come up with a few Italian plates based off diner specials: a classic tomato basil bruschetta for $5 and Fusilli alla Marinara with ricotta salata cheese for $18. Selvaggio says his inspiration for the dishes comes from his Sicilian upbringing: "Every summer we lived on fresh tomatoes and garlic for flavor and good olive oil to marinate everything. California is a follow up on Sicily; fresh tomatoes of superb quality and basic natural fresh ingredients for every day good food."
For the record: Valentino is still very much open for business.
For the bruschetta, toast "good bread" then rub with garlic, drizzle olive oil, and top with chopped or sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a basil leaf.
Meanwhile, for the fusilli, heat oil with garlic until light brown. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Pour cooked pasta into sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan. Transfer to a bowl and add ricotta salata and a drop of olive oil.
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