Cooking dinner with a special someone can be as romantic as a fancy meal at a restaurant any day. I love opening a bottle of wine, turning on some great tunes and cooking a great meal. Involve your significant other in the menu planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (even if its just moral support in the kitchen).
Cooking together creates a bond and makes a great meal even more special. When the meal is ready, dim the lights, light a candle, bring out your good china and celebrate your hard work together. Having a little wine with dinner will make doing the dishes go by a bit faster too. So this year instead of paying too much to eat at a crowded restaurant with tons of awkward couples, stay in and make a romantic meal together. Here’s my pick for a great date night at home:
- Whole wheat noodles (I used penne)
- 1 cup pesto (store bought or home made- my recipe below)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup sour cream, Greek yogurt, or blue cheese dressing (something to make the sauce a bit creamy)
- 1/2 pound bulk spicy sausage
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, garlic to taste
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, brown the sausage in a tall skillet or sauce pan.
- Once sausage is brown add the peas and cook for 1-2 min.
- Add the pesto. As it warms the pesto should thin out creating a sauce.
- Add your creamy addition (optional) and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Slowly add a bit of the starchy pasta water to thin the sauce out.
- Drain the noodles (reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water) and place back into the pot you cooked them in.
- Pour the sauce over top of the noodles and use the cooking water to thin out if needed.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Top servings with Parmesan.
With pesto you can really change it up depending on what you have in your fridge. This recipe is based on ingredients I had left from other meals. As you mix just keep tasting for the texture and consistency you want.
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup basil
- 1 bunch chives
- 5 sage leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil (stream in a little a time – may not need this much)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (add a little at a time)
- sun dried tomatoes
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- salt, pepper, red chili flakes to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender and stream the olive oil in until the pesto reaches the consistency you desire.
- You can also add:
- pine nuts
- hot sauce, etc