A Three Course Italian Feast: How to Cook Your Way to a Man’s Heart

If food really is the way to a man’s heart, I knew I had better be making my man the meal of all meal’s this past weekend. The Boy recently had a loss in his family, and rather than buying him an Edible Arrangement or a prewritten Hallmark card, I decided to get my little butt in the kitchen. I know just how much fresh garlic & seasonings, red wine and a home-cooked meal made with TLC  can really mean (far more than any cliche gift in my book), and well that’s what I wanted to do.

So I thought, and I thought and I thought and I thought.

What would be extra special? What would really show how much I care?

And alas, the idea was born. It started out with a CD my sister had given me a while back filled with authentic Italian dinner music. Italian theme it was!

And then came the menu that I designed, printed out and placed aside the table settings with the card I had written him. Ristorante Di Amore or shall I say, “Restaurant of Love.” Here’s a mini preview below:

Primi (First Course): Field green salad with assorted vegetables; wine, cheese and bread plate with olive oil dip

Secondi (Second Course): Chicken marsala served with roasted garlic broccoli & whole wheat cous cous

Dolce (Dessert): Chocolate Mousse Cannoli from Mike’s Pastry (of course!)

For starters, we snacked on New Zealand sharp grass fed cheddar cheese I had picked up from Trader Joe’s with a glass of Malbec. We also enjoyed a nice big salad with field greens, cucumber, tomato, freshly grated parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

As The Boy finished his appetizers, I got to cooking. I had never made Chicken Marsala before, but found this recipe on Women’s Health online which I decided to modify a bit. I pretty much followed the recipe with a few minor tweaks, like substituting onion for shallot (since that’s what I had in the kitchen) and replacing half the flour with almond meal as I find it a great replacement for flours when breading or frying. You can view the original recipe here. It was surprisingly super easy to make, and tasted just like the authentic meals I’ve had at Italian restaurants, while using fresh, wholesome, healthy ingredients.

While the chicken was cooking, I roasted the broccoli in the oven –  just chopped it up and drizzled with olive oil, lemon, garlic and a little bit of parmesan cheese and roasted for about 25 to 30 minutes. The cous cous was the easiest to make, as it literally cooks in five minutes. I just added a little lemon, thyme and fresh parsley to season and served it as a side.

The grand results?

{I swear it tasted MUCH better than it looks…I’ve never been the best food photographer}

And then there was dessert, and more wine. Seriously, is there any better way to end a romantic “I Love You” meal with a Chocolate Mousse Cannoli from Mike’s? I think not.


5 Responses to “A Three Course Italian Feast: How to Cook Your Way to a Man’s Heart”

  1. Sarah // Hemenway Street Says:

    This is so wonderful! I love that you took the time to design a menu and make it a special evening. Too often dinners turn into just “eating”, and this seems like a wonderful way to create memories together.

  2. Jess Says:

    AW!! I love this! What a fun idea and a great way to show the boy how much you care. And I don’t care what that pic looks like, the food looks and sounds like it was AMAZING. yummy!

  3. Rachel @Healthy_Chicks Says:

    @Sarah Thanks so much, and so glad you enjoyed! I totally agree with you that often meals turn into just “eating” rather than an experience. It’s nice to make it a little more special once in a while!

  4. Rachel @Healthy_Chicks Says:

    @Jess Hehe glad you don’t think my photography is that terrible! It really was yummy, indeed 🙂

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 8:08 pm and is filed under Happiness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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