Date Night Dinner (Steph’s Virtual Bridal Shower!)
I have to say that what I love most about blogging is the community. My fellow bloggers are caring, supportive and giving and even though we haven’t all met in real life, strong friendships are so easily formed. I often find myself amazed and humbled by the strong bond of these people that I call friends.
Kita of Pass the Sushi thought we should collaborate and throw Stephanie a bridal shower with our favorite date night recipes and I was thrilled to be on board. Stephanie (Steph’s Bite by Bite) and her fiancé, Lucas, are getting married next Saturday, October 29. Head over and send them your some well wishes!
I created spaghetti squash with a spicy red wine sauce as an entrée. It’s (just as the title says) spicy but rich with flavor from the wine and herbs. I love spaghetti squash this time of year too. Simple to prep but elegant and delicious! For dessert, I planned to do a traditional French apple and pear tart. Then I stumbled across Biscoff spread at World Market and it shook up my plans. I had seen so many bloggers rave about this stuff so I couldn’t pass it up. So instead of a traditional pastry crust on the tart, I created a Biscoff granola bar crust of sorts and topped it with the fruit. I’m addicted already!
Cheers to you, Stephanie and Lucas. Congratulations and best wishes for many years of happiness and love!
Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Red Wine Tomato Sauce
1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash, halved and seeds discarded (see note below)
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place the squash, flesh side down, on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the squash bakes, sauté 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, onion until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir until the paste is incorporated. Deglaze with red wine and stir in the chili powder if desired. Add the grape tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes and rosemary, and cook on very low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes. The tomatoes will break down and add to the sauce.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork the create strands of flesh. Add the strands to the sauce mixture and toss to combine. Add in the remaining olive oil. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
To make the squash a bit easier to halve, stick it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes to soften the skin.
Alternatively, bake the squash whole in the oven at 375 degrees for one hour until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow the squash to cool.
Apple Pear Tart with Biscoff Spread Granola Crust Recipe
2 cups fresh pears and apples (I used 2 Bartlett pears and 2 small Granny Smith apples)
3 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. honey
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray one 9-inch tart pan or four individual tart pans. Set aside.
Pulse the oats in a food processor until they are broken up. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and Biscoff spread until melted. Stir together and mix in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and oats until combined. Press into the prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes just until the crust begins to brown.
Meanwhile, peel and remove the core from the pears and apples. Quarter each fruit and cut into slices then dice. Toss in a bowl with the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, honey and lemon juice.
Remove the crust(s) from the oven and pour the fruit mixture on top of the crusts. If making individual desserts, divide the fruit mixture evenly among the four tarts. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the apples and pears are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the tarts are baking mix the glaze ingredients together. Allow the tarts to cool for 3-4 minutes before glazing.
Feel free to use only one fruit rather than both. Other fruits would be delicious as well.