Don’t fear if you haven’t made reservations for Valentine’s Day yet. It’s the busiest night of the year for many restaurants but we think cooking for your loved one is a far superior alternative to going out. Instead, we suggest buying some gorgeous flowers, setting some mood lighting and heating up the kitchen with our Italian inspired three-course dinner featuring artichokes – we think the veggies look like stuffed hearts and the recipe is also featured in our cookbook! – gnocchi with wild mushroom sauce and our unforgettable Earthquake chocolate cookies.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and drop us a line if you made these dishes.
Mix all ingredients together until a paste forms.
Cut and trim artichokes and add paste between the leaves.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Steam until tender.
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover completely with cold water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Boil whole potatoes until they are soft, about 45 minutes. Peel potatoes while they are still warm and pass through a food mill or sieve.
In a medium size bowl, make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle with flour. Place beaten egg mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in center of well and using a fork stir egg into flour and potato. Work dough adding flour (if using parmesan add slowly with flour) slowly until well blended and dough is not sticky. Knead about 4 minutes. Roll dough into a large ball and pull dough apart to make a tennisball-sized hunk of dough. Roll dough into a rope about ½ inch thick, cut rope into 1 inch size pieces. Using the back side of the fork, (the fork tines) score each 1 inch piece and curve. Place gnocchi on floured baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
In a large pot boil water, drop gnocchi into boiling water, gnocchi are done about a minute after they rise to the surface. With a slotted spoon remove floating gnocchi and place in a bowl.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter and olive oil together, add garlic and sauté a few minutes, add wine and reduce. Add fresh mushrooms, thyme and sage and sauté. When mushrooms have soften about 5 – 7 minutes add ½ cup reserve pasta water and simmer. Add salt and pepper. If sauce is too thick add more pasta water.
When ready to serve add gnocchi and simmer until sauce has lightly boiled.
In a mixer whip the eggs and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and pale in color.
In a medium size bowl, melt together chocolate and butter. Fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture. Then add the Irish Cream and coffee powder and mix well.
Add in flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Fold in with mixture until evenly combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours until the mixture sets.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF degrees.
Once mixture is chilled form into 1 1/2 inch balls.
In two small bowls pour sugar and powdered sugar. Roll each ball in sugar, then in powdered sugar. Place the balls on to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, no longer.