Your significant other is coming over for dinner in a couple hours and, admit it, you had totally forgotten you’d promised a home-made dinner.
You need not panic, we have you covered. Nothing says romance and care like a heart-warming Italian meal. The essence of Italian cuisine is authenticity, sun-drenched ingredients and love. Bear those in mind and you yourself can cook up a three course meal to impress your other half, by following some simple recipes.
Start off the meal with a delicate antipasti, the Italian starter. Tomatoes and Mozzarella with a Caper Pesto. Sounds fancy. It’s quite simple actually. You will need for 2:
- 125g of mozzarella di bufala
- 25g of jarred capers
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 35g of pine nuts or chopped almonds
- 50ml of quality extra virgin olive oil
- A few leaves of fresh basil
- Salt & Pepper
Prepare the caper pesto : drain and rinse the capers, dry on a paper towel (keep a few capers on the side for decoration). Cut up the garlic. Finely chop the nuts.
Mix up the capers with the garlic and nuts, adding 40ml of olive oil. Season and keep on the side.
To make the salad and presentation, finely cut the washed tomatoes and drained mozzarella. Dispose the tomato and mozzarella slices, alternating between the two and letting them overlap a bit. Drizzle some olive oil and some salt flakes, and top with chopped basil and a few capers.
For the main dish try a creamy tomato cannelloni bake. This recipe looks and sounds fancy, tastes delicious, and doesn’t require too many ingredients. You don’t have much time (you’ll also need to put candles up and tidy the place remember!) so don’t bother making a tomato sauce: you’ll find an authentic, all natural and ready-made sauce in Dolmio sauce for Bolognese Original which’ll add that distinctive Italian flavour to your meal. Here’s what you’ll need for 2:
- 1tblsp fresh chopped oregano
- 500g frozen leaf spinach
- Grated nutmeg
- 40g grated mozzarella cheese
- 4 lasagne sheets
- 225g low fat cream cheese
- 250g of Dolmio Bolognese Sauce
Preheat your oven (200C/400F/Gas Mark 6). Drain the spinach then put into a large bowl with the nutmeg, oregano and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well to combine.
Leave the lasagne sheets to stand in a bowl with boiling water for 5 min. Drain. On each lasagne spread a layer of cream cheese then a layer of the spinach mixture. Roll up and arrange in the base of an ovenproof dish. Pour over the Dolmio tomato sauce, throw some grated cheese on top and bake for 20 -25 minutes. To serve, sprinkle some oregano and serve with mixed salad leaves.
No romantic Italian dinner would be complete without some sweet creamy cloud of a dessert. Tiramisu might take too long to make, so try a sabayon instead, an express dessert of egg yolks, light white wine and sugar. Because nothing says “I love you” like a boozy dessert.
Mix 4 egg yolks, 75g of sugar, and 25cl of fruity white wine. Place in a double boiler at 60-70°, and whip for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is a warm fluffy mousse. It has to be a bit thick and stick to the whip.
Serve in nice glasses, top with red fruit and enjoy lukewarm. You can top with a mint leaf for extra deco.
That’s the meal all ready and delicious. The rest is up to you …
Psst: find out more about what your Dolmio sauce is made of by visiting http://www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.aspx