Valentine's Date Night

J.D. and I try to have a little at home date night about every other weekend or so where we actually cook together and sit down to a proper meal.  Otherwise, we'll both spend our weekend evenings (happily) staring at the tv, enjoying a cocktail and enjoying the peace and quiet while the baby's sleeping.  Admittedly, for our recent date night I picked a simple menu and a pink Rose because I thought of how cute it would be for Valentine's day and the 'ole blog, but guys, this really did turn out to be a pretty perfect little Valentine's date!  First, it was SUPER easy with few ingredients, and really inexpensive, and really delicious.  Even the pink Rose that I picked out (which I picked because it was the least expensive Rose at the wine shop) turned out to be delicious; even J.D. thought so surprisingly!

Okay, this date night included a simple arugula salad, Ina's Pecorino and Pepper Pasta and to wash it all down a sparkling Rose.  We pulled out the wedding china for this one!  For the salad, I just tossed arugula with a little salt, olive oil, spritz of fresh lemon and shaved pecorino.  For the pasta, this had to be the easiest main course.  We followed Ina's pasta recipe, with a few exceptions.  We didn't use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns; we just used our standard pepper grinder.  We used fresh black pepper pasta from Pasta and Provisions in Charlotte, but this would be just as good (probably better) with standard plain pasta.  We found this dish to be really so delicious, but a little too peppery for us.  It may have been because we used a pepper pasta, but I think even with plain pasta it would be a little too peppery for me.  So I'd recommend adding half the amount of pepper that Ina suggests, then add more to taste when you're finished with the dish.  We just had a little store bought focaccia bread on the side.  And that Rose, we both really randomly enjoyed it, perfect to switch things up on a Valentine's night.  More pictures from the evening below:

I'd much prefer an evening in like this instead of spending my Valentine's at a restaurant with crowds and marked up prices.  If you're looking for an easy, special evening, give this little menu a shot! 

~Mary Keller