Sometimes we think of entertaining as pulling out all the stops. An elaborate menu, pressed napkins, an abundance of flowers and fancy wares … however, entertaining or hosting or just serving a meal doesn’t have to encompass all of that to be enjoyable. Even with the simplest of efforts, a small, weeknight dinner for two can be transformed into something special.
Here are a few steps I like to take to make dinner for two not only more enjoyable, but also relaxed. SIMPLE is the key here.
- Choose an easily prepared menu. I went with a creamy lemon pasta dish and a green salad. You can top the pasta with fresh parmesan reggiano, and if you need a little more food, add fresh bread and butter to the mix.
- Keep the table uncluttered. Simple, everyday bowls and flatware can make for a charming setting when you throw in some checked cloth napkins or even small dish towels. A bowl of lemons can serve as a centerpiece.
- Serve a cold white wine. No need to go fancy or big.
- Set places close together. Sit side-by-side and not across from each other.
- Linger. With a small menu and not very many dishes, you have time to finish your wine, talk and enjoy each other’s company.
Creamy Lemon Pasta
1 package of your favorite noodles (big or wide noodles are great with this dish)
1 cup whipping cream (or cashew milk)
Rind of one lemon cut into small strips
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil pasta according to directions. When pasta is almost done, heat cream or milk on medium heat with lemon until it boils. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Pour hot cream/milk over the hot pasta, toss, add pepper and salt and toss, then serve. Serve with grated parmesan reggiano, salt and pepper on the table to add at your preference.