A Great Menu for an Italian Dinner Party

Italian food lends itself extremely well to a dinner party not only because it’s somewhat familiar, but also because it consists of courses that are distinctly defined and appropriate. It’s easy to prepare a lot of Italian food at once. Italian hors d’oeuvres are varied, and you can even theme a dinner party after a specific region, thereby turning the gastronomic evening into an educational one. Here are is a comprehensive menu idea for a great Italian dinner party.

Appetizer- Italian Fried Olives

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There is a viral Italian fried olive recipe that is turning eyebrows skyward. Fried olives are not immediately recognizable as Italian, but they most certainly fit the bill. What you do essentially is stuff pitted green olives with a paste of lemon zest, gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses and thyme. You role the olives in flour and dip them in egg whites, and finally coat them with a shell of breadcrumbs. Fry this up and you have a very original and memorable Italian appetizer.

Image Credit: Lisa is Cooking

Soup—Cacciucco

Cacciucco alla Livornese

This is a fish-based stew that goes great with a side of bruschetta as a preamble to the main course. Your guests will by now be enticed by the idea of the fried olives, so it’s time to meet their expectations with this stew, the recipe of which originates from Livorno, Tuscany. The type of fish is not important, only that it’s fresh. You’ll cook it with plum tomatoes, parsley, onions, garlic, olive oil, red vinegar and red chilies.

Image Credit: In Toscana

Main course-Fettuccine Dorate

pasta con la bottarga

Your invitees might be expecting fettuccine alfredo, which is probably the most common Italian dish prepared with this kind of noodle; but let’s surprise them. So far they’ve eaten rather involved appetizers, so this is an “entrée” that brings everyone back down to the simple earth. Boil up the fettuccini until its al dente. Meanwhile, you’ll have a bit of butter melted in a large pot, and you will have fried some breadcrumbs with basil leaves. It’s that simple: add the pasta to the mix, stir it up, and presto! Drizzle some Pecorino Romano cheese over it while the pasta’s still hot.

Image Credit: Lacucinaimperfetta

Dessert—Torta della Nonna

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To conclude your dinner party, you have to end with something especially delicious. We recommend baking one or two Torta della Nonna cheese tarts. The history and gossip behind this Florentine pastry is that it is one of the only recipes from the region that upholds any kind of baking reputation. Most of Italy’s renowned desserts come from other regions—which is what makes this choice so interesting. The crust is thick and crisp, made with the regular fixings of a pie (egg, butter, flour, powdered sugar), with the added flavor of orange zest and vanilla. The filling combines ricotta cheese with milk, sugar, flour and egg. It presents the palette with something to savor and consider carefully before approving, which your guests’ guts undoubtedly will.

An Italian dinner party is already a good idea, so go to it; and one more thing—don’t forget the wine.

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