Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

A Galentine’s Day Dinner Party

by Genevieve Halbert

published on 12 February 2020

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.

The Persephone from Taverna: Recipes From a Cypriot Kitchen by Georgina Hayden

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.

Herby Garlic Bread from Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life by Nadia Sawalha

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.

No-Churn Pomegranate Ice Cream from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

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.

Pecan and Prosecco Truffles from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi

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. 


You might also like

View all


All of your favourite recipes from Jamie Oliver’s Together on Channel 4

Jamie Oliver is back with a brand-new cookbook and TV series to inspire your post-pandemic cooking. Together is a guide to reconnecting with your nearest and dearest over a good...


8 Cornish-inspired home cooking favourites from Rick Stein at Home

Rick Stein’s latest cookbook is packed with recipes celebrating Cornish ingredients and producers. Discover 8 of our favourites here.


10 recipes you’ll love in The Sweet Roasting Tin

75 laid-back, flavour-focused bakes await you in The Sweet Roasting Tin. Here are just 10 of our favourites, from an orange drizzle traybake to Black Forest cupcakes.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week