Dinner for Two

Alright everybody (all five of you!), it’s post time! But before we get down to the good stuff (the food) I’m going to give you a little backstory.

So, it’s Friday night, and I’m cooking dinner. A fairly special dinner, as in, a second date dinner. The first date was amazing, so standards are high. Whatever I do, it’s got to be good. And since he’s taking me to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream afterwards, it’s got to be classy (That’s right, Shakespeare. We are sophisticated). What to make, what to make?

I decided to give the dinner an Italian theme. One, because Italian cuisine is my favourite. Two, because pasta can be easy yet elegant, and thanks to a Stats test (Not sure who decided to put a tutorial at 4:30 on a Friday, and then further decided to give tests in said tutorial, but what a horrible idea), I’ve got less than an hour to prepare the meal. And three, because Italian food is sexy. Even the names of the foods are sexy. Like, when the waiter at an Italian restaurant says “…pasta puttanesca, risotto alla Milanese, spaghetti carbonara…” he’s not reciting the day’s specials, he’s trying to seduce you.

Anyway, all this deliberation eventually brought me to one conclusion: sausage fusilli. I’d made it a couple of times, so I knew it would be good, and it fit my criteria perfectly. And once again, the recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, which is just further evidence of its awesomeness. I also wanted a salad to go with the meal, so I went with spinach and mushrooms and found a nice lemon dressing recipe. This one came from another of my cookbooks, by Chef Nicola Lawrence: Eco Harmony Dawn Cooking. If it sounds like all of the recipes are healthy, and lots of them are vegan, that’s because they are. But that doesn’t stop them from being delicious.

First things first, I had to make a trip to the grocery store, to get these:

First time I’ve ever gotten something from the butcher’s section (Yay me!)

And I could make the dressing ahead of time, so I did that,

And even put it in a pretty bottle.


Then , Friday night rolled around, and I got down to business. I cooked dinner and got all dressed up in just an hour (I’m such a champ), and I still managed to take all these pictures for you :

Spinach and Mushroom Salad with a Lemon Dressing

The sausage fusilli, pre-fusilli but post-oregano.

The finished product!

Well, there you have it. Dinner went splendidly, as did the rest of the night. All I have left to say for myself is that it’s getting very late now, and I’m saving up all my proofreading skills for the essay I have to write tomorrow. Please forgive me if my English is less than perfect.

And finally, the recipes:

Lemon Dressing – Adapted from Eco Harmony Dawn Cooking

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp mustard (we don’t have Dijon, but it’s better…)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley flakes

Put the garlic through a garlic press, then put all of the ingredients in a jar, (or a bottle, if you happen to have one as nice as mine) and shake them up until they’re nice and creamy. That’s it!

Sausage Fusilli – Adapted from Cook with Jamie (the broccoli is all me, and it’s good)

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 dried red chili
  • olive oil
  • 3 big sausages
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 wineglass of white wine
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • a box of fusilli (or rotini, it works well)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • some parmesan
  • parsley flakes (better yet, use it fresh)
Bash up the fennel seeds and the chili pepper with a pestle and mortar, or a coffee cup and your counter if that’s what you’ve got. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and squeeze the sausage meat out of it’s skin into the pan, breaking up the meat. You may have to at some point remove it from the pan and chop it up with a knife if you want nice small pieces. Cook it for a few minutes until it’s browning, and then add the fennel and chili pepper and the broccoli and cook on medium heat until the meat is crisp, golden brown and slightly caramelized.
Stir in the oregano, pour in the white wine, then zest and juice the lemon and add it to the mix. Continue cooking the meat on low while you prepare your pasta, and then toss the pasta with the butter, and the parsley. When you serve it, let people sprinkle on some parmesan, and other than that, enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Dinner for Two

  1. Am I allowed to comment on a blog that I co-author? I hope so, because I loved this post. I am seriously impressed with your ability to multitask the cooking/ blog photography/ getting dressed up process in such a short space of time! And that final photo looks sooo tasty!

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