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Valentine's Day, in the kitchen there is (also) chilli – Italian Cuisine

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Prepare a special dinner for your partner, winking at traditionally aphrodisiac ingredients but without exaggerating, because in addition to feeling, play and complicity count




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Valentine's Day is approaching and we start thinking about a special dinner for someone special. Cooking for Valentine's Day is a great way to save time, avoid the stress of booking – and eating out, during this period – but above all to make the day super special because it is personal. Let's not forget that in addition to food,atmosphere contributes to mood of the evening.

Making food for someone you love, whether it's a new friend or long-time partner, adds an intimate touch to a party that otherwise risks falling into the commercial. After all, loving through food has always been part of Italian culture. Through the dishes, you can communicate emotions, feelings and, why not, put people in the right mood for an all-round romantic evening. Let's see if we can insert some "help" in our menu …

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Chilli and that feeling of heat
It will be no coincidence that the menus suggested for the day dedicated to Love often wink at those who define themselves aphrodisiac foods, suggested by tradition more than by science in most cases, but the “you never know” is valid. The term derives from the Greek goddess Aphrodite, patroness of love, beauty and all pleasures: it is said that foods such as molluscs and crustaceans, some fruits, root vegetables, spices, seeds, chillies all enjoyed her favor. It is true that some musts of the romantic cuisine they are supported by scientific principles, such as the chili. Red and tantalizing, it contains capsaicin, the substance responsible for the spiciness and subsequent flushing (with relative increase in heart rate) that spicy food causes. A dish with spices and chilli can thus turn out to be spicy in more than one sense.

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Chocolate and butterflies in the stomach
Although geographically and historically distant from Aphrodite, the chocolate (the dark one) legitimately boasts the term aphrodisiac because it contains substances known to increase the feeling of well-being, neurotransmitters that positively influence mood – such as serotonin and endorphin – and phenylethylamine, which released in the brain causes a set of sensations such as euphoria, butterflies in the stomach, shaking. The darker the better, the higher amounts of serotonin are found in 85% chocolate.
We all know the antidepressant effect of the food of the Gods: various studies have shown that the craving for chocolate (call craving) is not a way of saying and does not derive only from appreciating its taste, aroma and texture, but also from the release of these substances. Cocoa also contains theobromine and caffeine, which raise the attention level of the brain and remove the feeling of fatigue. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who accompanied the conquistador Hernán Cortéz to Mexico, in 1632 wrote in his Historia verdadera de la conquest de la Nueva España, that the Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 cups of a cocoa and chilli-based drink every day called cacahuatl before visiting his concubines!

Some spices such as turmeric and the cayenne pepper they can awaken the senses by tingling the mouth and stimulating salivation while ginseng And ginger they are known for their energizing and vasodilating power. Celery And pumpkin they stimulate the sense of smell, while it seems that the aphrodisiac properties attributed to oysters, crustaceans and truffles mainly reside in their exclusivity. But it seems they still work …

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Some advice
Avoid excessively heavy foods or difficult to digest; alcohol is fine (excellent Red wine), without exaggerating. No garlic, for the obvious reasons, unless you're two aficionados. Better to leave out the spinach, which can remain between the teeth. Yes to dishes to share, because they stimulate complicity.

We suggest some ideas for your dinner, such as croquettes on a stick, to be accompanied with a delicious but delicious geleia de pimenta; you can continue with elegant black spaghetti with prawns and peppers or spectacular pepper ingots with tortellini with truffles; to divide a splendid tagliata with spicy fruit salad served with chili tomatoes and avocado.

Grand finale is the dessert, naturally chocolaty: the Devil's Food cake, to be nibbled together during the evening.

And remember that if in the end you decide to cook your partner's favorite dish (you have all the recipes of Sale & Pepe available), maybe doing it together, the evening will go just as well.

Francesca Tagliabue

Posted on 09/02/2022

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Muffins for Valentine's Day: the most delicious ideas to celebrate – Italian Cuisine

Muffins for Valentine's Day: the most delicious ideas to celebrate


A gift idea made with the heart for Valentine's Day? Certainly something cooked with your hands. Like these romantic muffins, for example. Here are the recipes

Saint Valentine, the Valentine's day is around the corner. Are you still short of ideas on what to give to your beloved? Here is a not brilliant idea, but certainly full of love: cook for your partner. Yes, prepare him a gift that speaks of your commitment and your dedication. Like, for example, a sweet: like i muffin that you find below, which require some time to prepare, but are so beautiful to look at and good to eat.
Even better, if you decide to cook them together: tie your aprons, take a handful of flour and then end up "making war", giving each other a kiss, it's a moment.
Below you will find the recipes of the most romantic muffins ever, while in our gallery some advice to make them even better. Happy Saint Valentine's!

Berries muffins

Ingrediants

200 g of flour
200 g of berries
180 ml of milk
2 eggs
1 sachet of yeast
100 g of sugar
80 g of butter

Method

Start by combining the eggs and sugar in a bowl, whipping them until the mixture is clear. Now add the melted butter and continue mixing. Sift in the flour along with the baking powder and continue mixing. At this point, add the milk slowly, stir again, finally add the berries, incorporating them evenly. Now it's time to grease and flour the muffin tins, then fill them with some mixture. Now bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 20 minutes.

Strawberry muffins

Ingrediants

300 g of flour
8 g of yeast
150 g of sugar
80 g of butter
125 g of whole yogurt
1 egg
100 ml of milk
200 g of strawberries

Method

First, peel the strawberries, washing them and removing the stalk, then reduce them into small pieces. In a bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder and sugar, and start mixing. Then, add the egg, milk and yogurt. Stir again. Now add the strawberries and melted butter. Mix well and pour the mixture into the muffin molds. Now bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 20 minutes.

Muffin red velvet

Ingrediants

60 g of butter
45 g of dark chocolate
280 g of flour 00
40 g of bitter cocoa
1 sachet of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of baking soda
130 g of sugar
160 ml of milk
1/2 vial of vanilla
28 ml of red food coloring
2 eggs
180 g of chocolate chips

Method

Take a saucepan and melt the butter and dark chocolate in a double boiler. Then let the mixture cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Season with salt, add a pinch of baking soda and continue stirring. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and red food coloring, mixing until smooth. Now is the time to combine the two compounds and, always stirring, to add the chocolate chips. Take the muffin molds, pour the dough into them. Put in the oven at 200 ° C, but after five minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 °. Cook for another quarter of an hour.

Valentine's Day, the most romantic restaurants to celebrate. From North to south – Italian Cuisine

Valentine's Day, the most romantic restaurants to celebrate. From North to south


From the shared table of the starred to the small restaurant in the center with a sea view. The five restaurants where you can eat with your sweetheart in simplicity

Valentine's Day is approaching, and the time has come to book a romantic restaurant to celebrate the feast of lovers with the person of our heart. Here are 5 perfect addresses from north to south of the Peninsula

Social eating

Unforgettable (Turin), chef Christian Mandura

Exposed stone walls, resins on the floors and lighting aimed at highlighting the architectural details and the protagonists. The two lounges were designed to accommodate diners before and after the tasting itinerary, with an aperitif and cocktails prepared by the barman Salvatore Romano (from Barz8, a famous cocktail bar in Turin). Unforgettable is a location with a unique personality: a fifteenth-century building that became the first Italian restaurant without tables. The diners sit at the counter, conceived as a strong point, with the chef in front of them. The name of the place means that the experience will be hard to forget but, playing on the word, the "table" ending also suggests how traditional tables, coming last, are no longer necessary.

Valentine's Day menu
Fried potato, cuttlefish in zimino
Foiegras, yolk
Seafood
Tuna and artichoke sandwich
Fennel and orange salad
Grated cauliflower
Taiarin with porcini mushrooms
Braised lettuce
Roasted peppers
Chocolate and pear cake
Crème brûlée
Price: 90 €

In medio stat virtus

Vertigo – Contemporary Osteria (Milan), chef Franco Aliberti

It is located inside the Milano Verticale hotel | ONE Experiences. The real flagship of Milano Verticale is in fact the gourmet proposal, declined in three concepts: fine dining restaurant, contemporary tavern and cocktail bar, all managed by Franco Aliberti, resident chef and new entry of the Bartolini team, undisputed protagonist of the international gastronomic scene. . To unify the three "public places" of food & beverage, open to the city as well as to hotel guests, is the large sloping tile ceiling: the space contracts and expands making the three spaces fluid, connected to each other, but at the same time perfectly identifiable. Vertigo – Osteria Contemporanea is an open environment, with an informal atmosphere, overlooking the kitchen and with a natural propensity to project outwards into the terrace and garden. The cocktail bar with urban garden offers a cocktail & drink menu created with the advice of Mattia Pastori and a food pairing prepared by the kitchen.

Valentine's Day menu
Winter salad
Goat cheese mousse and marinated yolk
Beetroot ravioli stuffed with parmesan and herbs
Tenderness of beef, cream of potatoes and marinated radicchio
Tartlet with raspberry, chocolate and gianduia
Price: 43 € per person (excluding wines)

From North to South, last call

L’Orangerie – Manna Resort (BZ), chef Manuel Astuto

The love for winter gardens and childhood memories give life to this restaurant where Southern Italy stands out. The protagonists are the raw materials of Italian excellence, with a keen and aware look to Asia. All reinterpreted in a creative way by chef Manuel Astuto together with his international cuisine brigade, sous chef Andreas Pernter and pastry chef Gregory Concin. Result: simple, genuine, elegant dishes that wink at the concept of "as it once was". From fresh pasta, strictly homemade, to bread, up to small pastries, everything is in the name of quality and refinement. For the feast of lovers, the menu focuses on sea and land delights.

Valentine's Day menu
Brandada of crispy cod and Pimenton de la Vera
Salty “Ringo”, cuttlefish, almond, lime
Manna Sushi roll
Thai soup
Amberjack, parika, tamarind
Raviolo with red prawn from Mazara del Vallo, bisque, orange, pistachio
Braised beef cheek and smoked eel, peanuts, daikon, kale, oriental sauce
Avocado and kumquat
Lychee, macadam, ginger, amaretto
Price: 95 per person

A jolt to tradition

Gio's, The St. Regis Venice (Venice), chef Nadia Frisina

Located a few steps from Piazza San Marco and with the widest view of the Grand Canal, the restaurant attached to the luxury hotel of the Marriott group combines the refined taste of the city on the water with the desires of the contemporary traveler. The love for the land and raw materials remains the first inspiration for the chef, who, following to the letter the "shaking traditions", claim of St. Regis Venice, has developed a menu that allows you to rediscover on the plate the tastes of the Italian tradition combined with suggestions from the Venetian Lagoon and certainly enriched by ideas of contemporary cuisine. The signature dish is Spaghetto Cavalier Cocco with Three Tomatoes, a declared homage to the flavors of the Italian culinary tradition. But for Valentine's Day the chef has thought of something even more special.

Valentine's Day menu
Oysters and passion fruit granita
Amberjack marinated with red turnips, Bronte pistachio, lemon and Romanesco cabbage
Carnaroli risotto with smoked artichokes, candied citron, toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese
Red mullet stew
Fillet with fine truffle
Mango sorbet
Dark chocolate mousse with soft raspberry filling
Price: € 180 per person (drinks not included)

Tête-à-tête

Pesciolino (Rome), chef Gabriel Lucca

Elegant and modern fish bar & restaurant in via Belsiana 30, a stone's throw from Piazza di Spagna, in the heart of the Trident. A welcoming place in the heart of Rome with a proposal that combines Mediterranean and South American flavors and suggestions; between ceviche, bowl, comfort food and mixology. For this Valentine's Day the new chef has curated an exclusive special menu.

Valentine's Day menu
Glass of champagne with chef's entrée
Selection of raw seafood
Tuna tacos with 'nduja mayonnaise, wakame seaweed and allspice
Fresh pasta tagliolini with red prawns, pistachio and peanut butter
Amberjack Tataki with Herbal Yogurt
Mandarin crème brûlée
Price: 69 € per person (drinks not included)

Near the sea, faccimm 'ammore

MySeacret (Naples), chef Antonio Passariello

It has recently opened, but the location, the chef's offer, the atmosphere promise that it will become one of the most popular restaurants in the Neapolitan city. My Seacret, along the historic via Chiatamone in Naples, a stone's throw from the seafront in via Caracciolo, combines catering fine dining with the language of art, with the continuous and permanent display of paintings and sculptures by Neapolitan artists, such as the lacquered ceramic San Gennaro that stands out on the tables. The cooking proposal is entrusted to the young chef Antonio Passariello. Born in 1987 and with a specialization in macrobiotic cuisine, he heads an under 35 brigade. The sea is (almost) absolute protagonist, even for the Valentine's Day menu. For the choice of wines ask Christian Moreno, attentive maître de salle.

Valentine's Day menu
Oyster, Tabasco green apple and caviar
Seared scallops on pumpkin and cardamom cream
Risotto with red prawns from Mazara
Dumpling stuffed with fiordilatte di Agerola, clams and candied lemon
Red mullet stuffed with Neapolitan-style endive
Dessert: Unconditional love
Price: 65 per person (drinks not included)

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