Here's a fun one for you. This week, dating experts, Match.com have launched a pop-up restaurant with a top chef, featuring recipes to tantalise the taste buds of the object of your affection using ingredients that are thought to have aphrodisiac properties.
I love a challenge, so I've been working with the team to create a romantic recipe of my own. I've come up with a pesto pasta recipe that's packed with ingredients thought to have aphrodisiac properties:
- Almonds - Long regarded as a symbol of fertility, almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and fibre. But it's the aroma that makes this dish a sensual feast - the smell of almonds is said to arouse desire and passion in women.
- Basil - The ancient Greeks praised basil for its power to cure headaches. It also promotes circulation and heats up the body.
- Garlic - Garlic is said to cure the common cold, heart ailments, and bland meals. While some would call this pungent seasoning more of a romance killer, it's actually considered an aphrodisiac that can aid blood flow and add flavour to your love life.
- Chilli Peppers - To spice things up, pick fiery peppers. They're chock full of capsaicin, a body-temperature and heart-rate booster.
Hopefully you're feeling hungry for love already, but if not, here's the recipe so you can make it for yourself.
- 200g (7 oz) farfalle (bow) pasta
- 50g (1.8 oz) basil
- 2 tsp garlic purée (you can use 1 fresh clove, crushed but I prefer the milder flavour of purée)
- 45g (1.6 oz) flaked almonds
- 30g (1 oz) grated hard cheese (and more to serve at the table, if desired)
- 100ml (3.4 fl oz) olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 red chilli
- Put the pasta on to boil in plenty of salted, boiling water
- In a dry pan, lightly toast all the flaked almonds until they just start to colour - keep shaking as they will catch and burn easily if left. Tip onto a plate to cool
- In a blender, whizz all the pesto ingredients until you have a smooth pesto (remember to keep 1/3 of the almonds to one side)
- Add the de-seeded chilli and pulse until chopped - I like it if there are still some larger chilli pieces flecked through the pesto
- When the pasta is al dente (about 8-10 minutes should do it), drain and transfer back into the pan
- Stir the pesto through - it's now ready to serve
- Tip on onto the plate and sprinkle with the remaining toasted almonds
What do you think? Do you believe in the aphrodisiac qualities of these ingredients?
Here's the recipe for this basil and almond chilli pesto pasta again in a printable format.
Basil and almond chilli pesto pasta
- 200 g (7.1 oz) farfalle bow pasta
- 45 g (1.6 oz) flaked almonds
- 50 g (1.8 oz) basil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 30 g (1.1 oz) Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese alternative finely grated
- 100 ml (3.4 floz) olive oil
- 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
- 1 red chilli de-seeded
- Put the pasta on to boil in plenty of salted, boiling water.
- In a dry pan, lightly toast all the flaked almonds until they just start to colour – keep shaking as they will catch and burn easily if left. Tip onto a plate to cool.
- In a blender, place 2/3 of the almonds, plus all of the basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz until you have a smooth pesto.
- Add the chilli and pulse until chopped – I like it if there are still some larger chilli pieces flecked through the pesto.
- When the pasta is al dente (about 8-10 minutes should do it), drain and transfer back into the pan.
- Stir the pesto through – it’s now ready to serve.
- Serve onto plates and sprinkle with the remaining toasted almonds.
This is a commissioned post for Match.com
More perfectly meat-free pasta recipes to try
For more delicious pasta dishes visit my recipe index, where you'll find recipes like these flavourful favourites.
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