Valentine’s Day is much maligned, and it's not hard to understand why – Feb 14 can be fairly cringe-inducing (see any post containing the phrase “THIS ONE”). But guys. It’s a DAY of LOVE. A whole day! We can’t stay mad at it, especially not when we remind ourselves that the love-fest doesn’t have to be confined to romantic partnerships; v-day can be an opportunity to celebrate all kinds of relationships, including those all-important, sanity-maintaining, life-giving female friendships. So, big up your girls this Friday with a luscious, La Dolce Vita-inspired Galentines dinner party; because nothing says ‘I love you’ like creamy pasta and two kinds of prosecco.
First things first: your guests should have a glass of this in their hands before they've even taken their hats and scarves off. A prosecco cocktail infused with homemade rose syrup and topped with jewel-bright pomegranate seeds, Persephone is the life and soul of any party.
Get your copy of Taverna here.
Nigella Lawson's Spaghetti Carbonara from How To Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food by Nigella Lawson
One major advantage of a platonic group-date (AKA, a dinner party) with close friends is that no one's worrying about how they look. If you're going for a 'seductive' vibe, spaghetti might not be your first choice, but when you're dining with a bunch of people who have seen you fold a whole pizza in half and eat it like croissant, a bit of slurping is positively welcome. This decadent carbonara is the ideal dish over which to toast life, friendship, and cheese. If you're cooking for vegetarians, this Pennette with Chanterelles, Parsley and Mascarpone is an excellent substitute, while if you're entertaining vegan friends try this creamy Butternut, Cashew, and Sage Pasta.
Get your copy of How To Eat here.
Obviously you'll be needing some extra carbs with that. The fresh, herby flavours of this garlic bread make a nice counterpoint to the richness of the main dish.
Get your copy of Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life here.
After that bread and pasta extravaganza, you're going to want to serve something sharp and not too heavy. Enter this fragrant, sherbety no-churn ice cream, made with pomegranates, lime, and cream. The method is super straightforward, allowing you to serve up a gelateria-style dessert with minimal effort.
Get your copy of Nigella Express here.
Of course, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate. And a prosecco/chocolate fusion? Well, we think that's exactly what St Valentine would have wanted. You can either bring these pecan and prosecco out at the end of the meal, with coffee, or bag them up as presents for your guests to take home.
Get your copy of Sweet here.