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Everything about Italian culture is romantic, especially the food. So when it comes to preparing a special Valentine’s dinner for two, trust in the Old World tradition of Italian cuisine and its mouthwatering flavors that satisfy the stomach and inspire the heart.

Appetizer

Puccia Bread Chips

Easy to make and elegant to look at, these small bites are crunchy, tender, and creamy—everything you could want in an authentic Italian appetizer.

Ingredients:

1 loaf Puccia bread

8 slices of La Quercia speck

7 tablespoons butter

1 handful of parsley for garnish

Directions:

Place the bread in the freezer for 20 minutes or until semi-frozen. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a sharp knife, cut the bread into 8 thin slices. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 2 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven and let rest a few minutes until crisp.

Soften the butter by whipping it gently until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.

Using the piping bag, apply a decorative dollop of butter across each slice of bread. Then top with a slice of speck. Garnish with parsley and serve right away.




Main Course

Lobster Capellini with Leek-Tarragon Cream Sauce

In this recipe from Food & Wine, classic capellini pasta gets an elegant update with delicious lobster in a light cream sauce flavored with leeks and tarragon.

Directions

1 stick unsalted butter

Four large leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon, plus 1/3 cup leaves for garnish

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

One beet, peeled and shredded

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

3 lobsters (1-1/2 pounds each)

1 pound capellini

Directions

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook for five minutes over moderate heat. Stir occasionally and cook until tender. Then add the wine and chopped tarragon, cooking until it reduces, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat with the cover partially on, about 10 minutes or until the cream is slightly reduced. With a cake batter spatula, transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the cream mixture to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium-high heat. Add the shredded beets and cook until tender, about eight minutes, stirring constantly for even cooking. Then add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Please 2 tablespoons of water and 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the butter melts. Then add the lobster meat and cook until fully heated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with a plate to keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until barely al dente. Drain the water while reserving 1 cup for later use. Transfer the pasta back to the pot and then add the cream sauce, butter, and reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and marry the pasta to the sauce until fully emulsified.

Transfer the pasta to large shallow bowls and top with lobster meat. Garnish the dish with shredded beets and tarragon and serve immediately.

Suggesting Wine Pairing:

A fruity Chardonnay with a crisp finish pairs well with the cream sauce and earthy beets.

Dessert

Espresso with Ice Cream

In this simple dessert drink, espresso and ice cream are combined for a rich and robust sip that is softened with a touch of sweet vanilla flavor.

Ingredients

Lavazza Oro Gold Ground Espresso

Vanilla ice cream

Almond wafers

Directions

Make 2 shots of espresso according to the directions of your coffee machine.

Place 2 scoops of ice cream into each espresso cup, then garnish with almond wafers and serve right away.

Roses are red, violets are blue, these recipes are amazing and so are you. To all the sweethearts on Valentine’s Day, buono appetito!

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