Advertisement
Share

Set the table for a date night meal at home

Italian sausage spinach and tomato rigatoni
(Bertolli)

Having a delicious date night doesn’t have to take you any further than your own kitchen. You don’t have to be an accomplished chef to set the table for romance, but you can take inspiration from simple, quality Italian dishes to celebrate the link between food and love.

Below are a couple of recipes to help you plan a romantic meal at home.

Along with your main course, prepare a simple salad of greens with a drizzle of Italian vinaigrette or Caesar dressing. Pop a loaf of bakery-fresh Italian or focaccia bread into the oven to serve with butter or olive oil for dipping. If you’re so inclined, cap the meal with a classic Italian dessert from your local bakery, such as tiramisu, cannoli or a creamy panna cotta topped with fresh fruit.

Italian sausage spinach and tomato rigatoni

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• Water

• 1/2 box rigatoni pasta

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1/2 cup onions, chopped

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

• 16 ounces sweet Italian sausage

• 1 jar marinara sauce

• 2 cups fresh baby spinach

• Salt, to taste

• Pepper, to taste

• Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions:

• Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Boil rigatoni pasta until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.

• In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until vegetables start to brown. Add Italian sausage and cook until done, breaking into small pieces. Add sauce and bring to a low boil.

• Add baby spinach. Cook until spinach is mostly wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

• Add drained pasta to a pan with sausage and sauce. Toss and divide between plates. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Italian garlic chicken pasta

Creamy Italian garlic chicken pasta
(Bertolli)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 large chicken breasts

• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

• Salt, to taste

• Pepper, to taste

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup onions, chopped

• 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips

• 2 tablespoons capers, drained

• 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced

• 1 jar rosa sauce

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• Water

• 1/2 box casarecce or preferred pasta

• Parsley, for garnish

• Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Instructions:

• In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Season chicken with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Sear chicken breasts on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

• Add garlic and onions to a hot pan. Cook until starting to brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes, capers and basil and stir. Add sauce and heavy cream. Cook until mixture starts boiling.

• Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Boil casarecce pasta until tender but still firm. Divide pasta between two plates. Place one chicken breast over pasta on each plate and top with additional sauce, parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Find more romantic dishes at bertolli.com. ◆