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Romantic Recipes

Food writer and Chef Jo Pratt has created some cosy Valentine's supper recipes for Furniture Village Magazine readers, featuring food which is perfect for cuddling up together on the sofa and sharing. Whether you enjoy them with that special someone or with the whole family, there's nothing better than spending time with the people you love.
Hints & Tips Lifestyle

Romantic Pizza with Asparagus, Parma Ham and Sun Blush Tomatoes

Share this heart shaped pizza for a really cosy meal around the dining table.

Makes 1 large pizza to share

For the base:

Ingredients 2 x 145g packets of pizza flour for dusting. For the topping:

Ingredients 300g passata 2tbsp olive oil 1tsp mixed dried herbs 125g grated mozarella cheese 100g asparagus tips 6-8 slices of parma ham few sunblush tomatoes Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200 fan/gas 7.

Make up the pizza dough according to the packet instructions, using both packets to make a larger amount of dough.

Roll out into 1 large heart shape (or a round one if you are not wanting to be romantic) and sit on a large floured baking sheet. Leave in a warm place to rise about 10 minutes or so.

For the sauce, place the passata in a saucepan with the olive oil and herbs. Bring to the simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the sauce over the top of the pizza base (any leftover can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week) and add the cheese, asparagus, Parma ham and sun blush tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the base is crisp.

Spice-it-up Popcorn

There’s nothing better than curling up in the sofa with your other half, watching a good film and tucking into a bowl of popcorn, especially when it’s nice and spicy.

Ingredients 2 red chillies seeded and finely chopped 40g butter 1 tbsp olive oil 50g popping corn flaked sea salt In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add the chillies. Gently cook for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat.

In a large saucepan, with a lid, heat the olive oil. Add the popping corn, and stir around. Cover with a lid. As soon as you start to hear the corn pop, shake the pan gently until you hear the popping stop. Remove from the heat, stir in the chilli butter and season with sea salt.

Serve warm.

Indulgent Choc 'n' Nut Truffles

These are deliciously simple to make but do make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for them to cool and rolling into shape. Once prepared they will keep in the fridge for at least 1 week (however they are rather moreish so it isn’t likely they will last that long without being eaten).

Ingredients 250g dark chocolate 125g butter 125ml double cream 2 tbsp Amaretto (almond) or Frangelico (hazelnut) liqueur 100g chopped toasted almonds or hazelnuts to coat Place the chocolate, butter and double cream in a bowl over very gently simmering water and allow to slowly melt.

Remove from the heat, stir in the liqueur and leave to cool, stirring occasionally. If the mixture separates slightly, don’t worry Once it is cool, place in the fridge to set, stirring a couple of times if it did start to separate. This will bring the mixture together making it nice and smooth.

Once the truffle mixture has set, scoop teaspoons at a time and roll into balls. Make sure your hands are nice and cool. If they get too hot and the chocolate starts to melt, run them under the cold tap for a minute.

The truffles can now be coated in the chopped nuts.

Once made, store the in the fridge or somewhere very cool for up to 1 week (be warned, it is not easy to resist tasting the occasional one, so hide them well if you need to save them for a specific occasion). PS....Raisins, chopped dried cherries or cranberries can be added to the chocolate mix. Other liqueurs such as brandy, rum, Gran Marnier or Malibu can be used as an alternative to amaretto or Frangelico.

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