weeknight date night {recipe}

Posted by & filed under Recipes.

One of Ryan’s and my favorite things to do at least once a week is to feed the kids an easy dinner, play with them, put them to bed at their regular bedtime, AND THEN, make dinner for us! We get to eat what we want to eat, enjoy making it together, and then sit down to a little quiet and candlelight just the two of us.  No policing vegetable eating, no mopping up spilled milk, no reminding little bottoms to remain in their seats – It’s like a bonus date night in the middle of the week!

Sometimes, if the house is dirty, I’ll cook while he picks up and makes things feel tidy. It’s one of the best things we can intentionally do for our marriage every week – even if it means waiting a little longer to eat dinner. We get to sit down, face each other, and hear about each other, completely free from distractions.

And sometimes, part of the fun of this mid-week date night is the process of making the meal. But other times, the reality and exhaustion of the day has exhausted us both, and neither of us feels like being too fussy about things. And on those days, I have a perfect, 10-minute, go-to recipe, which my beloved happens to totally dig.

It’s actually another recipe I found on my Cooking Light app. (And no, Cooking Light doesn’t even know I exist. I just like their recipes and their app a lot and I like to share happy things with y’all.)

Here’s the dish (and their more professional photo – note to self: include the fork next time…) as it appears on the app (check out the nutrition info!):

As you may have noticed, I added chicken to my dish. I don’t always add protein (the recipe doesn’t call for any), but I happened to have roasted a few breasts the previous day and had one leftover – why not throw it in, eh? (Actually, Ryan swears that this dish would be delicious with shrimp. But, if you’ve known me for more than 3 minutes, you know that I detest all things seafood. All of it – even shrimp & salmon. My poor, deprived husband!)

Okay, on to the recipe – straight from Cooking Light to y’all:

Pasta with Basil-Tomato Sauce


  • 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine (we absolutely LOVE this refrigerated pasta – it takes 2-3 minutes to cook and it tastes amazing! I like to stock up when my grocery store has it BOGO because it freezes so nicely anyway.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (not sure how that translates into pints, but 1 pint does it for us!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we add a little more)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (we add a little more of this, too)
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup – and don’t think you can skimp and use that shakey grated Kraft kind, it’s not the same!) (Cheese snob much?)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat (or, you know, leaving it in – your call). Drain; place pasta in a large bowl.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and salt; cover and cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil and pepper. Add tomato mixture to pasta; toss well to combine. Top with cheese.
  3. Plate your delicious meal and sit down as your husband quotes Proverbs 31 in praise of his wife of noble character – even if you did use the shakey Kraft parmesan. :)

Barbara Seelig Brown, Cooking Light 

Y’all, this is amazing and super tasty and it literally takes more time to bring the water to a boil than it does to make the entire meal. Perfect for me to start and have on the table by the time Ryan tucks our babies into bed.

Happy Sabbath, friends! Have a mid-week bonus date night with your hubby this week! It’s worth the teeny bit of extra effort! And even if he doesn’t quote Proverbs to you, there’s a good chance you’ll get to have a fun time hanging out with your best friend and make him feel super important at the same time! Cheers!

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18 Responses

  1. katherine 22 January 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Looks very similar to what I made for dinner last night, except I used bow tie pasta and added fresh baby spinach. Yummers!

  2. mandie 22 January 2012 at 3:34 pm

    We loooove Cooking Light. We usually gather 2 or 3 of their recipes a week & cook and freeze for lunches & dinner, since it’s just the 2 of us. I’m pretty sure we’ve had this one before, too. :)

  3. amy 22 January 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Aww awesome!! I love spending time with my beloved as well and I am happy that you, as a blogger, are able to share the wonderful moments you get with your husband. Sometimes some couples forget that without each other there would be no children and they let their relationship with their spouse get pushed to the side. It is so important to keep that spark alive and the cherish the moments they have together. I am glad to see you are the same way! :)

  4. alyssa 22 January 2012 at 10:33 pm

    That sounds YUMMY! Might have to put that on next week’s menu- Aldi has pints of cherry tomatoes for 79 cents!

    And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who absolutely detests anything that comes from the ocean!

  5. Tracy 23 January 2012 at 9:26 am

    how would this be with out the cheese? does it make or break the dish? I’m still dairy free because of Eliza’s tummy. It sounds yummy, though.

  6. Candice Morse 23 January 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Love the at home date idea. I just had similar idea posted on my blog last week. What a cost effective way to get quality time with your spouse. We have even done picnics in the living room with takeout food. It is fun to be creative with in home date ideas. I will have to make that pasta dish this week. It looks very yummy!

  7. Ryanne 23 January 2012 at 12:42 pm

    by the way…i like your photo better….i picked that one to pin to my pintrest board instead of the “professional” photo! excited to try the recipe soon. thanks!

  8. nic 24 January 2012 at 8:27 am

    i think you’ve hit the trifecta with this dish: fast and delicious AND beautiful! we do a similar version of date-night ’round these parts, mostly ’cause with all these kiddos, we can rarely afford a sitter. love having a new pasta recipe to try out!

  9. Brooke Friend 26 January 2012 at 6:24 am

    I made this last night and OH HEAVENS it was so very yummy! I added in some shrimp (tried something other than chicken since we had had chicken already this week.) Very delish and soooo very simple. I cannot wait for leftovers today at lunch. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Lindsey 26 January 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I did the date Night at home after the kids were asleep- thing this week for the first time. It was so nice! Want to make a habit of it :)
    Will try your pasta next time. Looks delish!


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