Valentines recipe straight from the heart of Pesto’s kitchen

Whether eating at home or out on the town, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to get together as a couple or a group for a relaxed dining occasion.


Pesto Sutton Coldfield offers the perfect antidote to traditional Valentine’s Day set menus with its unique Italian dining style of piattini – small plates of authentic Italian food – the ultimate sharing cuisine. Russell Bennett, general manager of Pesto Sutton Coldfield believes that dining in this style can be an intimate experience for tables of any size.

Russell Bennett said:

“Piattini is by nature something special and shared. You can order a handful of plates each and taste things other people have chosen, talking about what you enjoy; it’s a good catalyst for conversation.
“Plates tend to arrive to the table as they are prepared, so it’s naturally a more relaxed occasion than sitting down to a single main dish. Wine is, of course, a popular addition and for me Valentine’s Day is a chance to raise a toast to love, family and friendships.”

For those that find dining together for the first time a nervous experience, especially on Valentine’s Day, take advantage of a familiar environment and cook at home with a recipe straight from the Pesto kitchen.

Penne con Pollo al Dragoncello

(Serves two people)

300g cooked penne pasta
One chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
Half an onion, chopped finely
150g Mascarpone
Juice and zest of half a lemon
Bunch of chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper

Pan fry the onion in olive oil gently in a saucepan, stirring over a low heat until sweated down (make sure these don’t caramelise). Add the chicken pieces to the pan and seal and brown adding a pinch of the fresh tarragon and seasoning. Pan fry over a medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked through, set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack and drain. Meanwhile, add the mascarpone, lemon zest and juice to the chicken and combine together over a low heat. Let the

sauce reduce until it thickens – do not boil as this helps prevent the sauce splitting. Add the fresh tarragon and pasta and toss together until evenly coated.