Weeknight Date Night Recipe

One of Ryan’s and my favorite things to do at least once a week is to feed the kids an easy dinner, play with them, put them to bed at their regular bedtime, AND THEN, make dinner for us! We get to eat what we want to eat, enjoy making it together, and then sit down to a little quiet and candlelight just the two of us.  No policing vegetable eating, no mopping up spilled milk, no reminding little bottoms to remain in their seats - It’s like a bonus date night in the middle of the week!

Sometimes, if the house is dirty, I’ll cook while he picks up and makes things feel tidy. It’s one of the best things we can intentionally do for our marriage every week – even if it means waiting a little longer to eat dinner. We get to sit down, face each other, and hear about each other, completely free from distractions.

And sometimes, part of the fun of this mid-week date night is the process of making the meal. But other times, the reality and exhaustion of the day has exhausted us both, and neither of us feels like being too fussy about things. And on those days, I have a perfect, 10-minute, go-to recipe, which my beloved happens to totally dig.

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It’s actually another recipe I found on my Cooking Light app. (And no, Cooking Light doesn’t even know I exist. I just like their recipes and their app a lot and I like to share happy things with y’all.) Here’s the dish (and their more professional photo – note to self: include the fork next time…) as it appears on the app (check out the nutrition info!):
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As you may have noticed, I added chicken to my dish. I don’t always add protein (the recipe doesn’t call for any), but I happened to have roasted a few breasts the previous day and had one leftover – why not throw it in, eh? (Actually, Ryan swears that this dish would be delicious with shrimp. But, if you’ve known me for more than 3 minutes, you know that I detest all things seafood. All of it – even shrimp & salmon. My poor, deprived husband!)

Okay, on to the recipe – straight from Cooking Light to y’all:

Pasta with Basil-Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine (we absolutely LOVE this refrigerated pasta – it takes 2-3 minutes to cook and it tastes amazing! I like to stock up when my grocery store has it BOGO because it freezes so nicely anyway.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (not sure how that translates into pints, but 1 pint does it for us!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we add a little more)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (we add a little more of this, too)
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup – and don’t think you can skimp and use that shakey grated Kraft kind, it’s not the same!) (Cheese snob much?)
Preparation
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat (or, you know, leaving it in – your call). Drain; place pasta in a large bowl.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and salt; cover and cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil and pepper. Add tomato mixture to pasta; toss well to combine. Top with cheese.
  3. Plate your delicious meal and sit down as your husband quotes Proverbs 31 in praise of his wife of noble character – even if you did use the shakey Kraft parmesan. 

Barbara Seelig Brown, Cooking Light 
SEPTEMBER 2010

Y’all, this is amazing and super tasty and it literally takes more time to bring the water to a boil than it does to make the entire meal. Perfect for me to start and have on the table by the time Ryan tucks our babies into bed.

Have a mid-week bonus date night with your hubby this week! It’s worth the teeny bit of extra effort! And even if he doesn’t quote Proverbs to you, there’s a good chance you’ll get to have a fun time hanging out with your best friend and make him feel super important at the same time! Cheers!

Post by Raechel : www.raechelmyers.com

  • http://Thrivingthirty.tumblr.com Hannah

    LOVE this idea and recipe! I am desperate for ways to add romance into my life with a 6 month old around, and I’m not really up for leaving her with a babysitter. Thanks!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/craftingplayblogspotcom Craftingplay.blogspot.com

    Thanks for sharing the recipe- Looks delicious! Also, your date night idea is fantastic. I miss cooking together with my husband! Can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.whatalight.net teresita

    great post! I do this weekday dates too!

  • http://www.wallclings.org Wall Clings Beth

    mmmmmm pastaaaa! I love how the two of you still make the effort to make time for yourselves– and even with kids around! Brilliant idea.