2021 is certainly shaping up to be… um… interesting. We’re in yet another national lockdown, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Perhaps like me, your UberEATS and Deliveroo are starting to become slightly too familiar with your bank details, and you just know a cheeky Valentine’s takeaway may ruin your February budget completely. Well, if that’s the case, then not to worry! Why not mix it up this Valentine’s by cooking your own restaurant standard meal. In the era when staying in is the new going out, we’ve found some of the most impressive meals for you to try your hand at this weekend, whether you’re looking to surprise (and perhaps impress) that special someone, or you’re wanting to try cooking together.
Gigi Hadid’s Vodka Pasta
Quite possibly one of our favourite meals, this pasta recipe is the perfect mixture of creaminess and spiciness to give your Valentine’s Day that extra kick. If you’ve not come across it on Instagram or TikTok yet, let us introduce you to your new ride or die dish. Last year, Gigi Hadid posted a tutorial on her Instagram story of how to cook spicy vodka pasta, using the onions, garlic, tomato paste, a splash of vodka, chilli flakes, double cream, and parmesan cheese. I stumbled across the recipe on TikTok from an account called “the pasta queen”, so I knew it must be good! For an easy to follow recipe, check out @the_pastaqueen’s video on TikTok.
You can’t really go wrong with steak and chips, it’s a restaurant classic, but it can sometimes be out of your budget if you’re dining out. However, a simple look around the supermarket will show you that steak can be affordable at home! Combined with a peppercorn sauce and some oven chips, and you’ve got an ideal Valentine’s night meal, that delivers a restaurant standard vibe. If you’re feeling a bit creative, why not make your own peppercorn sauce, with this recipe from Good Food.
This is more of a fun activity for you and your Valentine to spend the afternoon attempting. You could either buy a dough mix from your local supermarket or make it from scratch. You can use all your favourite toppings to make your dream pizza, whether it’s meatballs or pineapple, who’s going to stop you? For extra V-day points, why not make your pizzas heart-shaped! This will make a memorable Valentine’s evening for you and your loved one.
Are you looking to impress that special vegan in your life? Well, look no further, because this recipe from Nora Cooks will help you to achieve a dreamy Pad Thai in 30 minutes. This nutty dish is simple yet impressive and will show your Valentine how smooth you are in the kitchen. Pad Thai is one of my favourite meals to cook, usually with prawns, whereas this recipe uses tofu that looks so golden and crispy it will be enjoyed by even the most die-hard meat-eaters! What better day than Valentine’s to convert your loved one to veganism?
Finishing up with another pasta dish, why not recreate that iconic Lady and the Tramp scene with your Valentine? This indulgent, creamy dish with pancetta is the ultimate comfort food perfect for a lockdown Valentine’s night, while also impressing your special someone. To achieve the perfect carbonara, try using this Ultimate spaghetti carbonara recipe from BBC Good Food for a dreamy, creamy meal!
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you just in time for Valentine’s Day, whether you’re surprising your Valentine or attempting to cook together (good luck either way). If you’re after some easier recipes, we’ve got you covered there too!