Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and while going to a fancy restaurant isn’t an option this year, you can still make 14 February special. If the way to your partner’s heart is through their stomach, read on…
Sure, you could grab a takeaway or a ‘dine-in for two’ ready meal, but where’s the fun (and romance) in that? We think there’s something much more heart-felt about making dinner yourself. So, break out the pots and pans, light some candles, put on your fave LBD and get ready to impress your boyfriend/girlfriend/housemate/cat with these easy (and delicious) romantic recipes for date night at home.
Passionate passion fruit martini
Fancy a little quarantini to kick things off? Then try this passion fruit martini. The perfect way to start (or end) to your meal, this lip-smacking cocktail is bursting with zesty flavours that’ll tickle those taste buds. Top with prosecco to finish. Want to make it alcohol free? Try adding a drop of vanilla essence and switching the vodka and Passoa for passion fruit juice.
- 2 ripe passion fruits
- 60ml of vanilla vodka
- 30ml of Passoa
- 1 tbsp of lime juice
- 1 tbsp of sugar syrup
- Handful of ice
- Prosecco to serve
- Scoop the seeds from one of the passion fruits into a cocktail shaker.
- Pour in the vodka, Passoa, lime juice and sugar syrup.
- Add a handful of ice and shake well.
- Strain into two martini glasses and top with prosecco.
- Garnish each one with half a passion fruit… (because it’s fancy).
Beautiful baked Camembert
They say French is the language of love, and we think their cuisine is pretty romantic, too. Deliciously gooey and a little bit naughty, this heart-melting baked Camembert is ideal for sharing. Amour!
- 250g Camembert
- 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Pinch of dried chilli flakes
- Crusty or toasted bread to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Unwrap the Camembert, then place back in its box.
- Score the top of cheese a few times then poke in the garlic slices and thyme/rosemary sprigs.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on some dried chilli flakes.
- Bake on a baking tray for 15 to 20 mins until gooey.
- Serve with chunks of crusty bread for dipping.
Saucy meatball pasta
Foodies are sure to fall for this saucy little number. Enriched with red wine and a hint of chilli, this pasta dish will certainly spice up your date night at home. It serves four, so you’ll have enough for seconds (you’ll want more, trust us) *chefs kiss*.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pack of 12 meatballs
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 200ml of red wine
- 2 tbsp of tomato purée
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 250g of fresh pasta (we like tagliatelle)
- Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meatballs until cooked through. Set aside, leaving the juices in the pan.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the red wine and cook until it’s reduced by half.
- Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, sugar, chilli and basil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the meatballs into the sauce and cook on a moderate heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Tempting chocolate mousse
Nothing says ‘romance’ quite like a rich, chocolaty dessert, and this indulgent mousse is sure to set pulses racing. Quick and easy to make, prepare it ahead of time for a fuss-free finale.
- 150g of 70% dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp of golden caster sugar
- 4 tbsp of crème fraîche
- Grated chocolate to serve (we like it with white chocolate)
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwavable bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted.
- Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, add in the sugar and whisk again until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Add a big tablespoon of the egg whites to the melted chocolate and mix vigorously before the chocolate cools and hardens. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites using a spatula.
- Spoon into glasses and set in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Serve each with a dollop of crème fraîche and chocolate shavings.