It’s Valentine’s and the most romantic thing you can do this Valentine’s Day is making a sumptuous meal for the person you love. Reconsider the reservation and forget the fancy, overcrowded restaurant and put on an apron and get your hands dirty.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to really surprise, to go that extra mile and cook a few of the special occasion recipes you’ve been wanting to try. This is something you should celebrate, to take time to reflect on your loved one, the happiness that relationship brings and to recollect a passage from a favourite romance novel and recreate the essence of magic.

From an elegant plate of seafood with endless dapples of saucy bubbles as it’s simmering away, will definitely ensure an incredible evening allowing yourself to take the time to dote over the tactile pleasures of an Italian themed evening.

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SERVES 2
INGREDIENTS:

50 ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets
700 grams pink tomatoes, peeled and chopped
90 ml red wine
200g Bavette №13 pasta
300 grams king prawns, headed and deveined *shells on
100 grams prawns, peeled, deveined and halved
100 grams baby tinned peas
The zest and ¼ juice of 1 medium-sized lemon
Torn flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Pinch of dried red chilli flakes
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Tip for cleaning and preparing squid:
Step 1: Carefully pull the tentacles away from the body.
Step 2: Holding the body in one hand, pinch the quill with the index finger and thumb of the opposite hand and discard.
Step 3: Clean the inside of the squid by running it under a tap or cleaning it in a bowl of warm water.
Step 4: Remove the dark speckled skin with your fingers and discard.
Step 5: Cut the tentacles just below the eyes, making sure not to cut the ink sac. Be sure to remove the ‘beak’ at the base of the tentacles, by squeezing it in the centre so the “beak” pops out.
Step 6: Quickly rinse the tentacles and the body, pat dry and cut the squid body into rings.

METHOD:

Heat 10 ml olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add garlic, anchovies and a generous pinch of sea salt. Allow to cook and continue stirring for about 1-2 minutes until the anchovies have melted. (the secret of the anchovies is to let it melt into the oil so it adds richness and effortlessly pulls this whole dish together).

Add the tomatoes, wine, red chilli flakes and sugar, bring to a vigorous simmer and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until slightly reduced.

Add the peas and season with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Watch the sauce bubble away with glee for a further 15 minutes until the sauce is a deep, red lipstick in colour.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water as per the packet instructions and drain once cooked.

With the remaining olive oil, add the juice and zest of the lemon and give it a quick whisk and set aside to allow the lemon oils to work its wonders.

Once the sauce is a luscious, crimson red, add the seafood, cover and cook for 3 minutes and drizzle with the lemon oil.

Toss the pasta with the seafood sauce adding parsley.

Divide among bowls and serve immediately and watch your loved one enjoy an incredibly moist and flavoursome pasta sauce. The look on their face will be worth it as well as eating it.

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