Since I figured this forum needed some good content....
CLIFFS: Rigatoni Campagnolo with a white wine sauce and goat cheese, and a Banoffee pie for desert. It'll impress, it'll taste like Jesus came in your mouth, it'll get ya laid. Trust me. Oh and there are plenty of pics, so read the whole thread.
So I am currently incapacitated at the moment due to a severely messed up knee, and with all the free time on my hands I am always trying to occupy myself with whatever I can to keep the boredom at bay. As such I decided to make a wonderful romantic night for my girlfriend, complete with candles, a fancy ass tablecloth with lace and shi
t and some of the best food to ever cross your lips. FUCK
going to a fancy restaurant, this will be cheaper, taste better and be much more romantic. Let's begin.
So let's say that your SO is working a shift at the hospital, and let's say you get bored of sitting around surfing the internet and watching Snatch. She get's home in an hour and a half or so...Plenty of time to create a fine evening. Go ahead and set the mood, get the table set up and put away all the porn you've been entertaining yourself with. Come up with a menu, in this case we will be making Rigatoni Campagnolo for an entree and Banoffee pie as desert. Traditionally Rigatoni Campagnolo is served with sliced italian sausage in the sauce...but I didn't have any, so we went vegetarian on this meal. For deaert we will be enjoying Banoffee, a traditional british desert. The name comes from combining the names of it's main two ingredients bananas and toffee, it is one of the most decadent, rich and truly scrumptious things you will ever eat. Luscious, sweet, perfect in every way.
However, you don't really use toffee, you use a Dulce De Leche, and as that takes the longest to make you should start your night with that.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Combine 2 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk and a dash of salt (about a 1/4 teaspoon), mix well and add this mixture too a non reactive pan (glass, enamel, etc). Place this pan in a warm water bath inside another pan. I didn't have any pans small enough to fit into my big pan so I improvised:
I used a large ceramic bowl inside a metal pan with the water going up about to about half of the bowl, turned out perfectly. Obviously, if you can use some sort of casserole dish as it will take much less time to cook (about an hour to an hour and a half as opposed to my two hours). Cover the Dulce with tin foil and put into a 425 degree oven, remember to periodically pull this out and stir it as you cook the rest of the meal .
Now you can start on the sauce for the pasta, put a large skillet on medium heat and add a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Finely chop 1/2 of a large sweet onion, or one whole small red onion it's up to you, and dice one whole bell pepper. Add this to your hot skillet with some salt, pepper, paprika and a dash of cayenne (all to taste).
Mix this around some and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Use this time to mince your garlic. BTW, I am talking about real garlic here, not the shi
t that comes in a jar or garlic powder. For this recipe two cloves should do the trick.
Oh and for you kids out there who don't even know how to turn on your stove, this is not a clove of garlic:
THIS is a single clove:
You will find them when you peel the garlic. If you add two of the big ones, you won't be able to eat your meal.
So now that the garlic is minced (if you MUST use the precut garlic in a jar then use about one tablespoon), and the onions are soft (you've been stirring right?) add in your garlic:
Stir this around and let the garlic get soft, about a minute...two minutes max. At this point it's very easy for your garlic and onions to burn. You don't want that, do you? After everything looks good and ready add in one cup of any dry white wine, I used a Sauvignon Blanc, but you can use whatever dry white wine suits you.
Reduce the heat and allow this to reduce by half stirring occasionally, shouldn't take long at all. once it's reduced, add in a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and stir.
There you go, the sauce is basically done, just reduce the heat to a slow simmer and stir occasionally while working on the rest of the food.