Food Editor Caitlin Dickinson reviews her autumn visit to Buonissimo in Harborne, where she was served the best Italian food she has ever had in Birmingham.Written by Caitlin Dickinson on 18th February 2018
3 Course Chocolatey Valentines Day Meal
Food Writer Sahar Jamfar cooks up three chocolate-themed courses for the most romantic meal of the year
Now that Valentine's day is here, here is a three course meal with a hint of chocolate in each and every course. If you and your partner or even good friend loves your chocolate, then this is the Valentine's Day meal for you.
Starter: Spinach & Pear Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette
- 20g chopped milk chocolate
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 90g baby spinach
- 1 large pear, sliced
- Dried fruit or mixed seeds to add on top (optional)
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave until smooth.
- Whisk in vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper and set aside.
- Divide spinach among two plates and add the pear, dried fruit and seeds.
- Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!
Main: Chocolate Pasta with a Cheesy Cream Sauce
- 150g chocolate pasta (can be bought from Hotel Chocolat)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 100ml semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
- 50ml cream
- 60g of gorgonzola, or any type of blue cheese. Alternatively, parmesan if you don’t like blue cheese
- 25g chopped mixed nuts, parmesan and chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
- Cook the pasta in unsalted water until it’s al dente and then drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until smooth and cook mixture until it turns golden.
- Add milk and cream and whisk until sauce thickens. Add the cheese and stir to melt. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk until you get the right thickness.
- Place the pasta in two bowls and drizzle with the cheese sauce. Top with the mixed nuts and sprinkle parmesan and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!
Dessert: Heart-shaped Chocolate and Hazelnut Sandwiches
- 4 slices from brioche loaf
- 3 tablespoons Nutella
- 1 large egg
- 75ml whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Ice cream and raspberries to serve
- Spread two of the brioche slices with Nutella and add the other two slices to make two sandwiches. Use a heart shaped cutter to cut the sandwiches into hearts.
- Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and caster sugar in a bowl. Dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture and leave for 1-2 minutes for the brioche to soak up the liquid. Dip one side of each sandwich into the chopped hazelnuts.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the sandwiches. Cooked for 1-2 minutes until each side is golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve with ice cream and raspberries. Enjoy!