Stress-free date night menu
While this meal is so easy that it can't go wrong -- a little attention to detail will hit it out of the park. (Photo by Emma Christensen/TMS)
While this meal is so easy that it can't go wrong, a little attention to detail will hit it out of the park.
First, salt the pasta water. Unsalted pasta is bland and boring. Salted pasta tastes interesting and compliments the sauce. About one tablespoon of salt to four quarts of boiling water will do the trick. It seems like a lot, but the pasta will only absorb a little. And that little will make all the difference.
And this will sound strange, but undercook the pasta just a little bit. Simmer the noodles until they barely qualify as al dente and you still feel a bit of hardness in the very middle when you bite into a sample noodle. When added to the sauce, the pasta will cook the rest of the way and soak up flavor at the same time.
You'll also want to use good quality chocolate in the mousse. Since this cheater's mousse is only made with chocolate and cream, its success depends on the quality of the chocolate. Go for the good stuff. And buy something that you enjoy eating out of hand, as you'll probably have a few squares leftover after making the recipe.
Buy a nice bottle of wine to use in the sauce and to serve with dinner. The meal's ingredients are inexpensive, so spring for an extra-special bottle of sauvignon blanc or crisp pinot grigio to serve alongside.
Last but not least, pick up a baguette while you're at the store. Trust us, you'll want something to soak up the last spoonfuls of sauce left in the bowl.
Fifteen-minute shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta
1 pound frozen shrimp
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 shallots, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
1 lemon, zested and juiced