Spend your time with your loved one, not slaving over difficult recipes. Try this delicious and easy dinner as a fantastic Valentine day idea.
Who wants to spend their time rushing and worrying about a fancy meal. Will the meat be tough? Will the soufflé fall? Put those worries aside with this simple, but elegant meal. The most complicated recipe is the dessert, but that can be made the day before. This menu makes a fantastic Valentine gift.
Salad: Fennel Salad with Mozzarella
Pasta: Pasta Primavera
Dessert: Budino al Cioccolato (Chocolate Pudding)
- 1 Tbs sour cream
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground, black pepper
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
- Trim the fennel bulb. Slice it very thin.
- Cut the mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, and salt.
- Add the fennel and toss.
- Places the mozzarella slices on plates and top with the fennel and dressing.
- 8 ounces of farfalle pasta (bow tie pasta)
- 12 spears of fresh asparagus
- 8 ounces of mild, fresh mango salsa
- 6 ounces of Chèvre
- 1/2 pound of frozen, cooked, peeled shrimp, thawed
- Clean the asparagus and cut into 2 inch pieces.
- Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 Tbs of salt, and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring until the pasta is submerged. If you have a smaller pot, you can use less than 3 quarts of water, but you must constantly stir the pasta for one minute.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water during the last three minutes of cooking.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente drain.
- Heat the salsa in a large skillet over medium heat.
- After about 2 minutes add the Chèvre. Heat until smooth.
- Add the shrimp and stir gently until heated through.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss gently.
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 ounces of extra-fine sugar
- 8 ounces of Ricotta cheese
- 1 Tbs instant coffee
- 2 Tbs boiling water
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 pint whipping cream
- Disolve the instant coffee in the boiling water.
- Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside, but keep over warm water.
- Pour the cream into a cold bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Put it back in the refrigerator.
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick, light, and creamy.
- Beat in the Ricotta cheese and disolved coffee into the egg sugar mixture. Make sure the coffee isn't too hot. You don't want to curdle the eggs.
- Add the melted chocolate to this egg mixture.
- Fold the whipped cream lightly into the chocolate/egg mix. You don't want to break the cells of the cream, but you want it completly mixed through.
- Spoon the mixture into tall stemmed glasses or a large decorative glass bowl. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving. You can decorate with cocoa and coffee beans.
Note: If you cannot find extra-fine sugar, you can create your own by putting the sugar in the food processor for a minute. This is also known as Caster or Castor sugar.
Serve this meal with a Canella Prosecco di Conegliano