When planning a romantic evening, most people think of soft music, flowers and candlelight. These are fine; it’s nice to create a nice romantic atmosphere. But we can do more than that. Have you ever heard of aphrodisiacs? I am sure you have but just in case, the term “aphrodisiac” dates back at least 5,000 years. Derived from Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty, who, according to Greek mythology arose from sea in the shores of my country, Cyprus. Aphrodisiacs include drink, food, scents, herbs, chemical products, and other devices that increase the human libido.
The ancient Greeks, in the first century, have the first written record of foods having aphrodisiac. By the seventh century, Paul of Aegina gave more credence to foods and their powers.
Don’t forget that they say that love passes through the stomach so get prepared for St. Valentine’s or any other romantic evening with an aphrodisiac meal. However, don’t spend hours in the kitchen to impress with your cooking skills. Make something simple but delicious. Spend your day to relax and make yourself beautiful. You don’t have to go to a spa or to a beauty salon to lift your spirit. If you can afford it it’s fine otherwise fill your bathtub with hot water, add bath organic calendula, organic cinnamon, organic lavender and organic cloves and have a nice relaxing bath. Let the Calendula soothe your skin from the harsh winter air. The relaxing lavender will help you decompress and relax and the Cinnamon & Cloves will bring you into the season. Let’s not forget that our eyes are the mirrors of our soul. So when we are relaxed and content this will reflect on our face.
Back to our aphrodisiac meal.
This recipe is cheap and easy to make, as most of the procedure can well be done in advance and it will take only a few minutes to assemble, not to mention that it contains at least 7 aphrodisiac ingredients and surely you will serve it with wine. The sweet, aromatic taste of the peppers and the bitterness peppery taste of the rocket are best offset by a delicate, dry-tasting white wine. I would suggest Moshophilero Arcadias, from Tselepos wineries in Arcadia, which is one of my husband’s favourite.
End with a light dessert. The most common aphrodisiac dessert in Greece is Greek strained yoghurt with thyme honey and walnuts.
So, with more than 10 aphrodisiac ingredients in just one meal, if this won’t boost your libido then try Viagra.
This is my entry for Kitchen of Love, hosted by Chris, at Mele Cotte…
Farfalle with rocket
Portions: 5 (as cooked for my family) make half this quantity
Preparation and cooking time: totally 20 minutes
- 1 packet of whole wheat farfalle (500 grams)
- 4 broccoli florets
- 4 – 5 rocket stalks
- ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 anchovy fillets, diced
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 – 3 fresh porcini mushrooms (wipe them with paper towel, do not wash)
- Bell peppers various colours (red, green, yellow, about 1 cup)
- 1 cup of various cheese grated (edam, cheddar, regato, kerrygold)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All ingredients in red I have found listed in various sites as aphrodisiacs.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes or according to instructions on the box). 5 minutes before the end, add the broccoli florets to the pasta, stir and cook. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. (Place pasta in cold water and reserve).
Meanwhile, wash, cut away the inner white filaments deseed and then cut the peppers.
In the meantime in a large skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms and the peppers as well as the garlic and sauté as well. Remove from heat and set aside.
When you are ready to serve, drain the pasta and place skillet again on high heat, add the anchovies, pasta, salt and pepper and toss. Add some of the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to make a light sauce. Finally add cheese and stir. When cheese is melting add the rocket and the broccoli and mix well. Serve with freshly ground black pepper on top.