Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and what’s more romantic than an intimate Italian dinner with your main squeeze?
An intimate Italian dinner that you made yourself.
So whether you failed to make reservations ahead of time, are having trouble finding a babysitter, need to pinch a few pennies, or just want the bonus points that come with making the extra effort to cook, here are four Isernio family favorites to serve for an extra-special Valentine’s Day dinner.
Fettuccine alla Crema di Zucca e Salsiccia – The only way to make this romantic pasta dinner more impressive is to say it in Italian. This fettuccine is tossed in a creamy sauce with butternut squash and sausage, and is the perfect portion for two. Make it romantic by: Splurging for fresh (rather than dried) pasta, garnishing with fresh sage, and pairing with a crisp white wine.
Spaghetti and Meatballs – It’s that one scene from Lady and the Tramp that we’re all familiar with. A giant plate of spaghetti, and he gives her the last meatball. Be still our beating hearts. Recreate the quintessential romantic dinner with this Isernio family classic, made spectacular with sausage instead of traditional meat and a panade to keep the meatballs moist and tender. Make it romantic by: Garnishing with fresh parmesan and parsley, pairing with a robust red, and adorning your table with a traditional red-and-white checked tablecloth.
Sausage with Mussels – Seafood is always a romantic option, and it also cooks up in a snap if you’re short on time. Think of how dramatic your table will look with a giant plate of mussels for two. Make it romantic by: Adding pasta to toss with the mussels and broth, garnishing with parsley, and pairing with a Pinot Grigio.
Paella – Alright, you caught us. Paella isn’t Italian, but sometimes it’s nice to do the unexpected – especially on a special occasion. Paella is usually served “family style,” so you and your love can share a colorful dish at the table as you linger and talk over their favorite bottle of white wine. Make it romantic by: Quietly playing some traditional Spanish music in the background, decorating the table with a colorful bouquet, and writing your sweetie a love note they find when they sit down to eat.
With a little planning, preparation, and Isernio’s we’re confident you can pull off a restaurant quality dish right in your own kitchen. What do you think you’ll make for your sweetie?