Still looking for that perfect dish to cook your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day?
Chef/author – and star of ABC’s “The Taste” – Nigella Lawson stopped by Access Hollywood Live to share two mouth-watering recipes filled with love!
Here are the recipes featured on Thursday’s show:
Chocolate Pasta with Pecans and Caramel
4 ounces cocoa or chocolate pasta, such as cocoa fusilli
Pinch or two of salt
1/2 cup unsalted pecan nuts, roughly broken up
3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
7 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more (optional), to serve
Put water on to boil for the pasta and, when it’s boiling, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta, setting a timer for 2 minutes before the package instructions say it will be ready. Put a medium-sized, non-stick frying pan on the stove and tumble in the pecans, then toast them over a medium heat. Once you can smell their scent wafting up from the pan, remove them to a cold plate.
Now stir the butter and sugar together in the frying pan over a low heat, until you have a hot, thick syrup. Carefully, pour in the cream, stir, and let the caramel mixture bubble up, add the toasted pecans and a pinch of salt, then turn off the heat.
Just before draining the pasta, lower in a cup to remove a little pasta-cooking water, then toss the drained pasta back into the frying pan with the dark and nutty caramel sauce, adding a tablespoon or two of the cooking water, if needed, to help coat the pasta. Stir to combine before dividing between 2 bowls. Serve with a little extra cream in a small pitcher to pour over as you eat, if wished.
7 tablespoons espresso or strong instant coffee
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
4 savoiardi cookies (ladyfingers)
2 egg whites
1 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Marsala
Approx. 1 teaspoon good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
4 small (approx. 1/2cup) martini glasses
Make your espresso and pour it into a heatproof pitcher, adding the coffee liqueur, then leave it to cool. I find 10 minutes outside the window on a cool day does it!
Break each Savoiardi cookie into about 4 and drop the pieces into the martini glasses, then pour the cooled espresso mixture over them. Tamp down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.
Using an electric hand mixer for ease, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and set aside for a moment.
Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey; I love the way its mellow sweetness marries with the Marsala, though sugar would be fine too. Beat with the electric hand mixer (no need to clean it first) and, when smooth, slowly beat in the Marsala.
Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the soused Savoiardi in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into a swirly peak at the top. Let these stand in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, then dust with cocoa, pushing it through a fine-mesh strainer, just before serving.
-- Nigella’s new cookbook, “Nigellissima,” is in stores now.