Valentine's Day Dinner

Joshua and I opted to cook a fancy dinner for Valentine's Day. We made it an all day affair by simmer sauce all day prepping pasta dough. Around 4 we made some fancy cocktails and asparagus ribbon salad so we wouldn't be hangry while making pasta. Then we rolled out all the pasta and let it hang to dry, made another cocktail and rolled into our olive bread heated in butter and rosemary. Once the pasta was dry we boiled it all up added the sauces and moved over to our trunk set up in candles. Eventually made our way to playing a short round of darts, then ate some pistachio chocolate tart and watched the 007 Spectre movie.
So in less words, we slowly ate tons of carbs all day!
I love egg white cocktails. Joshua is good a making fancy cocktails. Ergo I passed the recipe I wanted onto him in hopes that it would turn out well. Luckily I was right and it turned out tasty and a cute shade of purple. The egg white foam was a successs!
The Elk's Own:
double it to make 2 drinks
1 1/2 oz straight rye whiskey
1 oz Ruby Port
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
1 large egg white
1   place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake viciously for 3-5 seconds
2   add a few ice cubes and shake again for 8-10 seconds
3   strain into cocktail glass

We hadn't tried uncooked asparagus salads before and it turned out to be delicious. I've only made asparagus ribbons once before and it is a little frustrating at the beginning but once I got the hang of it all was well. This salad looks really impressive but is quite simple and delivers great flavor.

Asparagus Ribbon Salad:
1 lb asparagus
1/2 lemon; juiced
olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts; toasted
sea salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

1   rinse off asparagus and using a vegetable peeler strip the stalks into ribbons, from the end toward the tip
2   toss asparagus ribbons in a bowl with a sprinkling of lemon juice and olive oil
3   place in gentle bundles on 2 plates and top with pine nuts, salt & pepper, and parmesan cheese

We feel we are now master pasta makers- we didn't jam up the machine with sticky dough at all this time! We used the same recipe as last time found here.

For the pasta we made the most complicated Bolognese sauce I've ever attempted. We had to make 2 pestos and then the sauce. I really want to try the 2 pestos though with just the pasta, they were even quite tasty on their own. In the end it was definitely worth it and had so much great flavor!
Chorizo Bolognese sauce:
2 tbs olive oil
1 lb ground chorizo
2 cloves garlic; minced
28 oz can whole peeled roma tomatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto; recipe below
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leafs
salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 cup baby kale
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup manchengo cheese
parmesan cheese
1   in a large pot or dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add in the chorizo and brown all over. Then add in the garlic for 2-3 minutes.
2   crush the tomatoes into the pot with your hands, watch for splatter. Stir in the whole milk, wine, pesto, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium low heat, stir occasionally.
3   The sauce is technically done after this but for more flavor simmer, covered, on low heat for all day, stirring occasionally.
4   when ready to serve pasta, in a food processor process the sage, kale, olive oil and manchengo cheese into a pesto
5   cook pasta unil al dente. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Place pasta back in pot and add kale pesto. Add in pasta water a few tbs at a time until a sauce forms
6   plate pasta and then add on a heaping ladleful of chorizo Bolognese. Top with parmesan cheese

Sun-dried Tomato pesto:
can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge, also makes a good sauce on it's own.

6-8 ounces sun dried tomatoes; drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1   place all ingredients except oil in a food processer and grind together
2   slowly drizzle in olive oil until pesto has formed
3   store in air tight container in fridge

I'm going to do a dessert post separately, as this one is already quite hefty.

1 comment:

  1. I love cooking together! Tonight I made dinner for my boyfriend... first time ever since the last time I wanted to cook the chicken went bad :( I need to start making fancier things though haha