Cooking for Two: Pasta Night

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Pasta doesn’t always have to be that quick-fix meal that gets the job done but ends up being totally uninspired. If you’re willing to go one step further than boiling water and cracking open a jar of tomato sauce then the possibilities are endless. So, for that cozy date night, do as the Italians do and turn an everyday dish into a romantic meal for two.

The Wine 
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Pasta meals are best served with red wine. We suggest pairing with a Chianti, but go to your local wine store and ask the experts. Make sure to pick out a wine that’s rich with a silky-texture. Let the wine breathe in a decanter before you start cooking, so it’s ready to go by the time the appetizers are done. We love this Villeroy & Boch decanter, and these large Riedel wine glasses for all of your red wine needs.

The Appetizer
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There’s no better way to start off a pasta night than with a Caprese Salad. While tomato, mozzarella and basil is an oldie but an goodie, add a little twist to this favorite dish by swapping in burrata for the cheese and add melon to the mix. We love this Tomato, Pickled Melon and Burrata Salad Recipe from Bon Appétit. Billy Cotton’s White Nesting Platter is the perfect serving tray for this type of starter.

The Pasta 
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Pick a recipe that’s hearty and full of flavor. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to impress with a unique pasta recipe and a chic presentation. If you and your fiancé are meat eaters, try this delicious Pappardelle and Lamb Ragu Recipe from Food & Wine. If fish is more your thing, try this Linguine con Vongole Recipe from Food52. For an easy way to cook pasta perfectly, take a look at our Chef’s Classic Pasta Set by Cuisinart.

Side Dish
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With a heavy pasta entree, you will want to have a light side salad to serve on the side. Try an easy arugula salad by mixing the lettuce with olive oil, lemon juice, cracked pepper, and parmesan cheese, or simple take mesclun lettuce and mix with a light balsamic dressing and serve. For this, we  love Acaciaware’s Calabash Bowl with Salad Servers and Kate Spade New york’s Oliver Park 5-Piece Place Setting plates to set the table.

The Dessert 
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After an enormous pasta dinner, you might be too full for dessert. But if you can find the room, consider going for ice cream. Let’s be honest, whether you’re into chocolate (we love this recipe from Food Network), raspberry, or just plain vanilla, there’s really nothing better to top off any meal in the summer months, so why not finish this one off right? Get out of your comfort zone and make the ice cream yourself. Use Kitchenaide’s Ice Cream Stand Mixer Attachment to make the perfect cold dessert.

Second Image by Gentl & Hyers via Bon Appétit

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