Happy DIY Monday!
With Valentine’s Day being only a few days away I thought I’d share with you a tradition we started a couple of years back. Since our kids are young and 5 times out of 7 Valentine’s Day falls on a week night, here is what we do to celebrate as a family. Holidays are big around these parts and no holiday is complete without a meal plan, activities, and decorating.
I give you the Bliss at Home Do-it-Yourself Valentine’s Feast & Party
We are a pasta lovin’ family. If you cut our veins we’d probably bleed Italian and we don’t have a drop of Italian blood running through them…not to my knowledge anyways. We are also a very health-conscious family, so if we do pasta it is a healthy spin on a fat-loaded favorite, but on Valentine’s Day we make exceptions and indulge in one of our favorite dishes Vodka Cream Pasta.
Kristin’s Vodka Cream Pasta with Prosciutto & Basil
extra-virgin olive oil (I use my Misto)
6 slices of prosciutto, cut into small pieces
16oz. penne rigate
3T un-salted butter
3 cloves of fresh garlic
2 shallots, minced
1/2 C chicken stock
2T tomato paste
32 oz. crushed tomatoes
coarse salt & pepper
1/2C heavy cream
fresh basil to taste
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Crusty bread to compliment dish
Cook pasta until al dente, reserve 1/2 of water
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about a minute more.
Stir in tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the tomato paste, vodka, and chicken stock. Cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated, at least 5 minutes.
Stir in cream and salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes.
In a separate non-stick pan add olive oil and fry prosciutto for a couple of minutes at medium-low heat.
Check your sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in basil. (If you want a thinner sauce add in reserved water a little at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.)
In a large bowl combine pasta & sauce. Mix in prosciutto and add more basil and the cheese on top. Serve & enjoy with crusty bread.
I like to serve everyone out of a big old bowl. I call it momma style.
My kids love to help get the table ready. While I’m cooking I put them to work. They set the table, put out the decorations, and my oldest cuts out the Valentine’s hearts for all of us to fill out for each other. This year, now that my youngest is old enough, I’m going to have them decorate a paper runner for the table.
Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that in my head for some reason it is all about paper decorations. We pretty much just cut out hearts, make crepe paper roses, and hang cupids and dollar store decorations everywhere. The gaudier the better! I might add balloons on the ceiling this year…we’ll see how it goes. The kids seem to like that stuff better anyways.
It’s a holiday, right? So celebrate. We celebrate with more food. No Valentine’s Day feast would be complete with out dessert. This is where Dave comes in. He is in charge of selecting this every year. On his way home from work he picks up the goods. It could be a favorite pie from a restaurant, chocolates from the local chocolatier, or our favorite cake.
We wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!!
Follow Bliss at Home: