For a lot of people I know, Valentine’s Day involves madly calling up the best restaurants in town in the hope there is a spare ‘table for two’ – and when that fails, it involves phone calls to any restaurant for any reservation. But I think a thoughtful feast at home is a much better option, and in recent years Valentine’s Day has become an opportunity to try something new in the kitchen and share the experience with my boyfriend.
Let’s be real, it shouldn’t be down to one day out of 364 others to express your love and instead of buying into the commercialism of this so-called holiday I like to come home with a bag of fresh groceries, put on some soft music, unscrew the cap on a bottle of red wine and cook.
I’ve taken to finding recipes that I’ve never made before, which you may think is a ‘recipe for disaster’ but it means there is an element of surprise for both of us – and I’m yet to go too far wrong. Even when the recipes aren’t as successful on the plate as they look in the photos, the fact I put so much effort into doing something nice makes the experience a win-win.
This year’s Valentine’s Day did not require me to step away from the comfort zone – tagliatelle al ragù di agnello. I’ll admit, my initial recipe had called for duck, but it was hard to come by. It was also much easier to pair my wine with the lamb dish; a bottle of Chianti provided the right amount of gusto.
It seems the lure of spending a cosy night in is increasing in popularity (I can’t begin to imagine why), so perhaps these simple recipes might be the kick-start to a Valentine’s Day feast of your own:
Had success in the kitchen for Valentine’s Day? Let’s hear about it