The Happy Hostess Presents a Dinner for Two: Valentine’s at Home (Recipes Included)

Chocolate-hazelnut cake with chocolate-banana ganache and raspberries.

For those of you wishing to avoid the crowds of people rushing out for their prix fixe this Valentine’s Day, plan an intimate dinner at home. You can spend the money you save on a day-after couples’ massage.

Blood orange and champagne cocktail

Normally, I would give tons of advice about how to get the pasta from the kitchen to the table in less than a minute or how to time your courses, but I won’t. The whole point of eating in for Valentine’s Day is that you can eat at 5:30 or 10:30, or you could never get past the cocktails and leek and chard tarts. Chocolate ganache can be better for breakfast anyway.

Well, perhaps a few pieces of advice are in order. If you want to eat this savory tart (jump to see the photo) as badly as I do, you need to remember one crucial point: the puff pastry must be defrosted in the fridge the day before you bake the tart. You really don’t want to see how ugly a last-minute defrost of puff pastry can be in the microwave. And, really, I w0uld be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that you really must have your butter and asparagus shavings ready the moment you pull your pasta from the boiling water. Fun can be structured. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Swiss chard and leek tart


drink: Blood orange and champagne cocktail

appetizer: Chard and leek tartlets

main: Tagliatelle with asparagus ribbons

dessert: Hazelnut-chocolate cake with banana-chocolate ganache

Fresh pasta with asparagus ribbons

Defrost puff pastry.
Make the cake batter and ganache.
Make the tart filling.


Bake the tarts.
Bake the cakes
Mix the cocktails and cook the pasta to order.


Click here for the recipes.

  • Use fresh pasta instead of dried. It cooks much more quickly.
  • Buy a ready-made dessert for two at your grocery instead of making your own. The tiramisu at Central Market looks especially delicious.