10. Fusilli Carbonara with Frisee and Lemon
This recipe from Martha Stewart is not only delicious but also visually stunning. The mix of red, yellow and green colors makes this a dish that just grabs your attention. If your budget is a little tight and a good quality Parmesan cheese is just too expensive, try a more reasonably priced Grana Padano cheese instead. Not sure what the difference is between the two is, check out our Food Fight!! Grana Padano vs. Parmesan Reggiano post. If you’re adamant about recreating the above pasta dish sign, substitute a long cut like a spaghetti or bucatini.
9. Strip Steak with Avocado Pebre Sauce
From Eating Well comes this recipe which might seem intimidating due to the number of ingredients. Don’t be deceived, you can knock this recipe out in 30 minutes, just enough time to get dinner ready after work for a hot date! And adding an avocado is both healthy and gives this recipe a luscious taste. This sauce is basically the Chilean version of salsa, and goes great with a Carmenere red wine (also Chilean)!
8. Peri-Peri Chicken Paella
From Red Online comes this recipe which is a twist on the classic Valencian Paella dish. Also spelled Piri Piri, this African classic hot sauce was invented by Portugese explorers in Mozambique. Adding arborio rice is a great way to sop up all the delicious flavors as well. Don’t waste too much time trying to season the chicken breasts as the Peri Peri sauce will overwhelm all other flavors.
7. Molten Chocolate Soufflé
This recipe from French Women Don’t Get Fat has a delicious liquid center that is sure to impress! While the recipe mentions the option of using low-fat milk, it just seems like a lost cause given the rest of the recipe. Live a little and go with the fatty fat fat full fat milk instead!
6. Spicy Tomato Blue Cheese Soup
From the very impressive website Leite’s Culinaria comes this recipe that is a great option if you have a bunch of blue cheese that you need to use before it goes bad. Bake up some nice croutons and put them, dry and alone, in each soup bowl. Then pour the soup out of a pitcher into each bowl to serve, giving the soup a nice textural contrast! Also in terms of dairy options, some blues like Shropshire or Blacksticks will use an orange coloring agent called annatto. This gives a great color contrast, just be sure that’s what you want your soup to look like. Other options like Roquefort involve a sheep’s milk, which can give your soup a flavor that some might not warm to as quickly (sheep’s milk isn’t for everyone sadly). A simple Danish blue is probably the easiest and most popular option.
5. Pepper Shallot Mushroom Frittata
This recipe from The Spruce Eats is a great option for a last minute date at home. The recipe itself takes just over 20 minutes, and the use of a skillet when serving adds to the visual presentation. Don’t be intimidated by the name “fritatta” it basically an Italian take on an omelet.
4. Engagement Chicken Pasta
From Dessert for Two comes this recipe that really is the classic romantic recipe for 2. If you’re worried about a heavy cream sauce being too much, you can cut the cream a bit with regular milk. Also, the wine that you use to deglaze the pan should be something that you’d drink if it was buy itself. Avoid cheap supermarket “cooking” wines that defeat the whole point of cooking a beautiful meal.
3. Coq au Vin
The New York Times has a classic version of this French recipe that is perfect for a cold, winter date. Never have lardons and chicken been paired so well before. However if the NY Times insistence on having an account is annoying, check out Ina Garten’s recipe here!
2. Lemon Chicken and Bacon Bucatini
This recipe from I Heart Recipes with Rosie Mayes isn’t as fast as most pasta recipes, but worth the effort. However if you can’t find the bucatini cut, don’t be afraid to substitute other long cuts like spaghetti or even linguine. The general rule is spaghetti with thicker and linguine with thinner sauces, however this isn’t set in stone. Also, while this chef recommends the Barilla brand, there are MANY other brands including DeCecco that cost only a little more and are worth the investment.
1. Lasagna Soup
So what the hell is this (you might be wondering). From a Farmgirl’s Dabbles comes this recipe that hits the spot on a cold, winter Sunday. While short cuts of pasta like fusilli are much more common in soup recipes, there isn’t any law against bigger cuts as well. Lasagna soup is a fun take on a classic recipe and a great way to use up leftovers from the night before. Just be prepared to scroll and keep scrolling waaaay down the page to finally arrive at the actual recipe.