Six recipe ideas for Valentine's Day

Hearts, flowers, chocolates and special thoughts... Valentine's Day is a celebration of gestures of tenderness, passion and romance.

Celebrated in much of the world, Valentine's Day is on February 14th. Every year on this date couples strive to ensure that the day spent with their partner is unique and unforgettable.

So let's take a look at where the custom of celebrating this day comes from. Although its name leads back to a saint and therefore suggests the idea of a religious holiday (San Valentino in Italian), its origin is still to be clarified: there are those who trace it back to the ancient Romans, those who trace it back to Richard II of England, or to the humanistic institution of the High Court of Love in Paris... However, for now, the only real proof is that left by Charles of Orleans. Following the defeat in the battle of Azincourt, the latter in fact wrote a letter to his wife and referred to her with the nickname "Sweetest Valentina".

Regardless of its history, this day is dedicated to lovers who are always looking for new ideas to surprise their better half. However, as is often the case with aiming high and looking for the wow factor, often it's hard to see that the solution is at hand. This year, aim for the simplicity of a tasty home-cooked dinner.

Preparing a candlelight dinner with special dishes is a perfect way to surprise your partner. Let yourself by inspired by our recipes.

Risotto with anchovies and lemon

As a first course, we suggest an unusual Risotto with Anchovies and Lemon, ideal if your sweetheart loves fish. While simple, this recipe is extremely flavorful and really tasty! It’s made like a classic risotto, but with the addition of a few small steps and special ingredients that will make the difference.

To make this dish, start by heating 4 tablespoons of our Pure Olive Oil in a saucepan along with 1.8 oz of Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil. Proceed to toast the rice and after a few minutes, pour in half a glass of white wine a great white wine for seafood recipes. Once all the alcohol has cooked off, cook the risotto, adding warm vegetable broth a bit at a time and stirring often.

The secret to a successful risotto? Add the broth one ladle at a time, only when the previously added liquid has been completely absorbed.

After about 15/17 minutes, the risotto will be almost ready to serve: turn off the heat, add a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Classico and some lemon zest and let it rest for a minute with the lid on before serving. Serve the risotto, decorating it with some lemon zest and a few Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil. With a fresh, balanced and delicate dish like this, you'll definitely hit the spot!

Spaghetti with scampi and pistachio pesto

As an alternative to risotto, we suggest a first course in which the flavors of surf and turf come together in a perfect union: Spaghetti with Scampi and Pistachio Pesto.

Our recipe is quick and the result is so delicious that it will win over even the most demanding palates. Let's take a look at the various steps. Sauté some chopped onion, celery and carrot in a pan and add the cleaned scampi, a drizzle of our Pure Olive Oil and a small clove of garlic. Meanwhile, bring some water to a boil and, after salting it, cook our Spaghetti di Gragnano I.G.P. Drain the pasta when cooked al dente and finish cooking it in the pan with the scampi. Only at this point, add a few tablespoons of our Pistachio Pesto Sauce to make the dish creamy and season it.

For a final touch like a true master chef, serve the spaghetti with some chopped pistachios and don't forget some bread on the table to soak up the last bits of sauce!

Bream fillets in red pesto crust

For the second course on Valentine's Day, we suggest our recipe for Bream fillets in red pesto crust: a crispy and golden second course that will go right to your valentine's heart.

To make it, first buy 4 fresh fillets of sea bream. The latter will then be baked in the oven after being covered with a very special "crust" that you can create by putting the following in a blender: sliced sandwich bread, a clove of garlic, drained capers, a little parsley, a pinch of salt and three tablespoons of our Pesto Rosso Sauce.

Cover the fillets with the mixture and sprinkle them with a drizzle of Pure Olive Oil. Cook in the oven at 390°F for about 10 minutes, after which you can finish cooking the fish on the highest rack with the broil setting for a few minutes. In doing so, the fish will form a really delicious golden crust!

Close your eyes and this recipe will transport you straight to the Mediterranean thanks to its tasty, tantalizing seafood flavor.

Bourguignonne, beef fondue

Would you rather change things up and serve meat for a second course? There's nothing more romantic than Bourguignonne, beef fondue. Designed to be shared, this recipe is cooked directly at the table and will allow you to better manage your time: less time spent in the kitchen, and more time spent with your loved one! So let's take a look at how to set up your bourguignonne.

The success of this dish depends on the quality of the meat and the flavor of the sauces. Make sure to buy a good cut of beef sirloin and, after having trimmed it of any nerves and sliced it into cubes, arrange it on a serving platter together with the small bowls containing various sauces.

Mostarda, tartar sauce, salsa verde, mustard sauce...there so many sauces you can decide to pair with your bourguignonne. Try it with our Mayonnaise with Olive Oil.

Prepare the special saucepan that you will have to place in the center of the table. Then pour our Pure Olive Oil into the bourguignonne fondue container and place it over the heater. Once all the ingredients are on the table, all that will be left for you and your better half to do is skewer the cubes of meat and cook them in the oil. Once ready, you can dip them in one of the sauces: each morsel will have a different taste from the previous one. A great second course to enjoy as a couple!

Meringue kisses with Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread

We've reached the long-awaited moment for dessert! You only need three ingredients for our first recommended recipe: 2 egg whites, 3.5 oz powdered or caster sugar and our Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread.

Meringue Kisses with Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread" are a reinterpretation of classic meringues in taste and baci di dama in shape. Their sweetness pairs perfectly with the bitter flavor of coffee, making them great end-of-meal treats.

How to make them? It's super fast! Start beating the egg whites in a bowl and after a few moments, once they start to turn white, add the powdered sugar. Keep mixing the ingredients together until your mixture is fluffy and frothy. Once ready, use a pastry bag to help you form the meringues on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them initially at 265°F, then lower the temperature to 230°F and continue cooking for about 30-40 minutes. As soon as they are ready, remove them from the oven, pair them up and stick them together by putting our Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread in the middle. Thus you’ll make small "sweet sandwiches", crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside: a great way to end a meal!

Mini tiramisu and chocolate cheesecakes

Want to end with a fresh dessert you can eat with a spoon? Make mini-cheesecakes! We suggest our tiramisu and chocolate flavor: a combination that even those without a sweet tooth won’t be able to resist. The amounts to use for the recipe are approximate, depending on how many cheesecakes you want to make and how big you want to make them.

Start by brewing the coffee and setting it aside. Crumble 5.3 oz dry cookies and mix them with 2.1 oz of our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Delicato. Cover the bottom of small cake pans or the bottom of some glass jars with this mixture and put them in the freezer. While the bases are hardening, prepare the creamier layer: in a bowl combine 6 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3-4 tablespoons of coffee. When the various ingredients are well blended together, pour the mixture onto the cookie bases and decorate as desired with our Hazelnut and Cocoa Spread. How about drawing a pretty heart? Return the mini-cheesecakes to the refrigerator and remove them a few minutes before serving.

All these ideas of dishes to include in your Valentine's Day menu will eliminate any fears: success is guaranteed even for those with less experience in the kitchen!