Valentine’s Day is one of those days in the year that is filled with anticipation and anxiety. The singles amongst us will wonder if they get a card, flowers or a dinner invitation? Or if they should send one? For the ones in relationships, anxiety might come up. What do I buy this year, what do I organise, where to go, what to eat? Some might want to get out of it with minimum effort and write a card with flowers, while others set themselves impossible self-imposed standards and make a full day plan. To add to the pressure, we all have that one friend that should have been an event planner and puts us all to shame with his thoughtful and fun ideas.
While we can’t help you with finding a valentine, we’ve got you covered for the evening. This V-Day we recommend going Italian. Italy is known for so many beautiful things; its arts, architecture, fashion, film, opera and cars, but two elements come together on Valentine’s Day. Italian’s love for food and romance. And after all Saint Valentine was Italian.
There is nothing like telling someone Ti Amo through home-cooked food. The effort will go a long way. So, stop overthinking, start planning your dinner and head over to HappyFresh to order the finest Italian ingredients. It’s quick and easy.
Before we get to the food, let’s get the basics out of the way. They might not be the star of the evening, but they are essential nonetheless. We suggest to pre-select, or curating, a romantic playlist for the evening, but do avoid cheesy love songs. Write a meaningful card with some personal and loving notes, but nothing too hallmark-ish. Order some flowers and this year why not skip the traditional roses and opt for white tulips? Make sure you have enough candles in the house and napkins for the table setting.
For the evening itself, the trick is not to be in the kitchen for too long and enjoy each other’s company. With that in mind, we have selected some dishes that don’t take too long to prepare and cook. Unless, of course, you decide to cook together and want to make the preparation an activity in itself. We believe in hearty food.
We recommend starting slow and relaxed with an antipasti platter and presenting a selection of cheeses, and cold cuts such as salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, etc. Make sure to serve them with marinated olives, pepperoncini and artichokes. You can choose bread or crackers but don’t overeat. The evening is long. A bottle of Prosecco is always a good start. Try the Voga, it’s crisp, refreshing, and affordable. Take your time for this and enjoy it in the living room.
For your first course at the table, we suggest Linguine Alle Vongole. It’s easy to make, but it looks spectacular and you don’t get it served that often.
For secondi we suggest a veal Milanese. This dish is both delicious and easy to make; it doesn’t need that many ingredients and steps. You can serve this with roasted vegetables. Think zucchinis, eggplants, Campari tomatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes, prepared with seasoning and olive oil. The oven will do its magic, while you can open a bottle of white wine, such as a Vermentino, and continue to appear in control.
For dessert we suggest a classic Italian dessert, the tiramisu. This is easier to make than you would think, and you can make it well ahead of dinner time, even the day before. Quality coffee is important to serve with the dessert. Perhaps now is a good time to purchase that fancy coffee machine you have been eyeing up for so long.
At this point, you can hopefully relax a bit and feel good about your efforts so far. A digestif is a nice way to finish the dinner and roll into the rest of the evening. Find a nice bottle of limoncello, sambuca, or something stronger, grappa.
If you run out of topics, or want to take a break, perhaps watching a romantic movie, set in Italy of course, might be an option. Here is our Valentine’s Day approved selection: Eat Pray Love, Under the Tuscan Sun and A Roman Holiday. We leave the closing of the evening up to you…
Head over to HappyFresh’s website to buy your ingredients quickly and easily.
Also check out our tips on how to throw a swish Italian dinner party at home with HappyFresh.
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