#TabletopTuesday: Easy Valentine's Day Dinner for Two

Tired of overpaying for a prefix Valentine’s Day dinner that always seems to disappoint? We’re here to help! We’ve teamed up with Rachel Winkler, the writer and recipe developer behind the Little Chef Big Appetite blog, to create a Valentine's (or Galentine’s) Day meal so delicious and easy that you will never want to dine out again.

STEP 1: Create a chic tabletop (even if all you’re working with is a coffee table)

We like to use colors that nod to the day of love without screaming red and pink. It’s all about balancing sophistication and playfulness! Start with you our Carolina Napkins which are a classy blend of coral and pink. Let them shine alone or pair them with a blue stripe or floral pattern. Want to see some more suggestions? Check out our curated Valentine’s collection for additional inspiration.

Our linens are fabulous enough to stand alone BUT we always like to add additional elements to really set the mood. Here are a few ways to add a little pop to your tabletop:

  • Flowers – Keep it simple and create a chic arrangement with white or pink tulips. You can use whatever vase you have handy or treat yourself to these porcelain beauties by Middle Kingdom.
  • Candles – Feeling romantic? We love these simple and elegant candleholders from Hawkins New York. Just remember to use unscented candles next to your food!
  • Candy – This holiday is all about sweets and we like to use that as an excuse to incorporate candy into our tablescape.

STEP 2: Cook something delicious (without spending all day in the kitchen)

We are so excited to be working with Little Chef Big Appetite! Rachel is a master at designing healthy recipes and we love seeing bits from her daily life in NYC. For our Valentine’s Day night in, she has created the perfect recipe for us—Pesto Spaghetti with Blistered Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic. It is so simple, anyone can make it!

You already know this dish works well with our napkins, but here are some other pairings for you.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

  • White: Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc
  • Red: Something light bodied with low tannins, like Pinot Noir or Gamay

We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day dinner in!

XOXO, Pepper 

 

Pesto Spaghetti with Blistered Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Recipe

 Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz spaghetti, type of choice (whole wheat, gluten-free, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup pesto, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch from the top of the garlic cloves, exposing the individual cloves. Wrap the garlic in a small piece of aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cloves are soft and caramelized.  
  3. After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes. Toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast with the garlic for 5 minutes, toss and roast for another 5 minutes, until blistered and bubbling.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the spaghetti according to package instructions for al dente. Before straining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water. Strain the remaining water and rinse the pasta until cold water (this will prevent the noodles from sticking together).
  5. Return the spaghetti to the pot and toss with the pesto, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Carefully remove the garlic from the aluminum foil and squeeze the caramelized cloves into the pasta. Toss to ensure the garlic is distributed throughout. Optional: add some of the reserved pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, to make the pesto-cheese mixture extra creamy.
  6. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and top with the blistered tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Season with a pinch more of salt and pepper, to taste.

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