Valentine’s Day is a chance to grab some precious time with your significant other. But falling in the middle of a working week can make planning, cooking and staging a surprise meal super-tough. We have the solution: 3 easy-to-make, no-fuss recipes, including how to choose the right drink of such a delicious meal.
And we have chosen some crackers for your romantic evening. Using store cupboard basics, the minimal ingredient list means that they are ideal for a mid-week romantic supper but don’t let this simplicity fool you. All courses are simply delicious…
One-Pot Creamy Spaghetti
Start your meal with this simple to cook spaghetti dish.
- 450g beef mince or sausage meat, cut into small cubes
- 90g fresh pasta spaghetti
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 400ml chicken stock
- 200ml double cream
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated or thinly sliced
In a large pan, fry the mince or cubed sausage meat until no longer pink. Drain excess fat. Return to the pan and add the tin of tomatoes and stock. Allow everything to come to a gentle boil, gradually reducing the tomato sauce until thick.
Add the fresh pasta - this will take minutes to cook – and then stir in the double cream. Season to taste and serve in warm bowls with shavings of parmesan to garnish at your wood dining table, complete with romantic pillar candle holders, and red rose petals scattered around.
Drinks to serve
Enjoying a glass of wine with such a romantic meal is more or less essential. With a tomato-based sauce, you can get away with serving a full-bodied red but if you think this will be too heavy, choose a white wine that is lively and slightly acidic to temper the heaviness of the cream. A Chardonnay is a perfect accompaniment.
Dessert: Chocolate Swirl
With the main meal a success, you can now turn your attention to the dessert – and we think these impressive, but easy to make Chocolate Twirls are the perfect fit. Taking 5 minutes to prepare and only 10 to 15 minutes in an oven at 200°, this recipe makes 15 generous servings;
- 1 roll of prepared puff pastry
- 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
Roll the pastry out to a large rectangle. Sprinkle the cocoa powder evenly over its entirety, followed by a layer of the sugar. Carefully roll into a ‘sausage’ shape and using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 15 portions.
Lay on two greased baking trays, ensuring they have enough room as they will spread slightly during baking. Pop into the hot oven and check on their progress after 10 minutes. They should be slightly golden when baked through.
Serve the chocolate swirl with an extra dusting of cocoa powder or icing sugar, and a drop of double cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For the romantic film: Chocolate Truffle Biscuits
Spending time together, whether that is watching a film snuggled on comfy chairs or enjoying each other’s conversation, having delicious nibbles is the ideal way to round off your evening and these Chocolate Truffle Biscuits are exactly what you are looking for;
- 20 digestive biscuits
- 125g (4oz) butter
- 200g (7oz) condensed milk
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 125g (4oz) desiccated coconut
- Powdered sugar to decorate
Start by crushing the digestive biscuits by placing them in a clean plastic food bag and rolling with a rolling pin. Do this until you have a crumb.
Melt the butter in a pan, taking care not to burn it (if it turns brown, you will need to start again!). When melted, add the biscuits, the condensed milk, the cocoa powder and the coconut. Stir until thoroughly combined.
When cool enough to handle, roll the mixture into ping-pong sized balls – you’ll get about 35 balls from this mixture – and then roll to coat in the powdered sugar. Arrange in a pyramid and serve with the remainder of the wine…