HOW TO MAKE
VALENTINE'S DAY MEMORABLE

How I made Valentine's day memorable at the Cigno Nero (Black Swan). Give a look at what you could typically eat in an Italian restaurant in Tuscany. But see how you can make yours too wherever you live...

Many combinations that we couldn't have missed for this Valentin's Day.

It just happened to fall on Sunday, and under an unexpected sun.

A memorable day now impressed in our hearts that began at lunch time. At the restaurant, pizza house Cigno Nero (black swan).

It's an Italian restaurant between Pisa and Lucca where we live.

For us, it's almost like when you go to your backyard. It's so familiar and yes  within a short distance from home.


Cigno Nero

But you don't have to be here to make it happen. Make your Valentine's Day memorable wherever you live even at home.  Because as Beatles sing: "All you need is love...".

THE RESTAURANT

Cigno Nero is a typical Tuscan country-style, many-sided restaurant with a small pond. But if you are expecting to see black swans around, well... The only black swans we saw were those at the entrance, standing on two columns of the fountain. At least in this winter season.

SORRY WE COULDN'T RESIST A FEW SELFIES...

And who does?

Yes, we either couldn't resist a few selfies.

Yeah, I'm head over heels for the lady in front of me. And you can see that on my dreamy face too...

So hands on my mobile to snap a few pictures of us and of what we ate at the Cigno Nero. Keep reading...

RED & WHITE ROSES

We were surrounded by many red and white roses on this Valentin's Day. They were almost on every  table at Cigno Nero. Really pleasing all the present couples inviting us men to pick them up for our sweet half.

Red & White Roses

WHAT YOU COULD TYPICALLY EAT
IN A TUSCAN RESTAURANT

We actually began this Valentine's day noon at the table. Cigno Nero menu's is similar to many ordinary Italian restaurants, in Italy at least. A first, a second from earth or sea with a side dish. Then ending with a dessert and espresso coffee. All within an average price of  €30 for a person.

We both intentionally jumped the appetizers wich usually begins the opening of the meal.

So let's see what we choose...

MIRY'S SHRIMP & MUSSELS SPAGHETTI KNOWN AS...

As a first Miry had this shrimp and mussels known and called on the menu: spaghetti allo scoglio. Meaning simply, reef spaghetti referred to the seafood content.

Seafood Spaghetti
Seafood Spaghetti

ARTICHOKE & SQUID TAGLIATELLE FOR ME...

My first was this artichoke and squid tagliatelle called: "Paccheri di Gragnano con carciofi, calamari e pecorino".

Quite a long name for a dish isn't it?

But it's just referring to the ingredients in the dish. So we have paccheri which is a type of Italian pasta with artichokes, squids, tomatoes and flakes of hard pecorino cheese.

Now what happened was that the paccheri shape of pasta was sold out and substitued with tagliatelle at the last moment, but they did tell me.

Now you might already know that generally cheese dosesn't go well with fish as we are told. But here in this plate instead makes a nice combination. It might be that its balance by the vegetables, in this case, artichokes and whole cherry tomatoes.

Tagliatelle With Artichokes

FRIED MIXED SHRIMPS & SQUIDS
(FRITTURA MISTA)

As a second main dish fried mixed shrimps and squids were Miry choice called in Italian frittura mista.

TUSCAN SEAFOOD SOUP

This is one Tuscan seafood soup which I like more, made mainly just with mussels. Then toasted home-style bread soaked into a chili hot fine tomato sauce. With a few pieces of squid, makes this dish heaven for seafood lovers like me.

Tuscan Seafood Soup

CLASSIC TIRAMISU

As dessert Miry got the classic tiramisu served in an individual glass. Well, she tasted also my ricotta cake meanwhile I was taking the pic...   ;-)

Tiramisu

RICOTTA CAKE WITH NUTELLA

This unusual ricotta cake with a hearty filling of Nutella has been my choice. The topping is made by melted milk chocolate covered with a sprinkle of coconut flakes. Really easy that one day I will try to copycat this ricotta cake at home for sure...

Ricotta Cake With Nutella

PISA'S SEASIDE

The day as been so pleasing that we couldn't miss a walk to the seaside. Marina di Pisa (Pisa's seaside) is just far 30 minutes drive from where we live. The local marina and the sunset made for us the rest of this beautiful day, with its magic atmosphere that we lived. A good occasion to take a few photographs, as this is another of my passions too.

Pisa's Seaside
Stilt House

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