16 February 2012
Italian cuisine is ideal for home cooking. It is very easy and loyal to inexperienced chiefs. Most Italian dishes need just a few ingredients. And there is one more peculiarity – Italian housewives rely on the quality of ingredients, and not on cooking skills. All that makes Italian cuisine very good for home parties. You just need to go shopping, prepare food quickly (several hours), serve the table and have fun.
What to cook
The most popular and well-known Italian dishes are: pizza, lasagna, pasta (especially spaghetti), risotto, calzones and calzoncelli and so on. But there are also lots of dishes that we know not so well. Let's choose dishes that are ideal for parties.
If you're going to lay the table, cook lasagna – most people like it and it looks very nice. Pizza is good for any party, tastes great and has lots of varieties. Pizza dough is very good for different finger dishes: bites, canapés, small pizzas etc.
Other finger dishes:
- Arancini di Riso – rice balls with different filling, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried until golden;
- Breaded Mussels – very tasty shellfish dish;
- Gorgonzola cream – nice cheese dip for red meat;
- Pizza Rolls – pizza dough with stuffing rolled and baked (sometimes rolled, baked and cut into pieces).
Italian cuisine recipes are mostly based on pastry, seafood, raw and cooked vegetables, cheese, red meat, olive oil and spices. So if you're thinking about making a vegetarian party, Italian food would be great for it. For veggie party you can cook Peppers stuffed with pasta, Fish & pasta pie, Bolognese soufflé, Baked fish with vegetables and so on.
How to serve
What to start with? Actually, in Italy a meal is served not as it is in America. The 1st rule: soup and pasta are served at the beginning, then salad. In US we have vice versa.
You can organize your dinner the next way: serve Portate – a full meal with three to six courses, not including the appetizers. First course can be similar to American (soup, pasta, polenta and so on). Second course can consist of plate of seafood, poultry or game, meat, an omelet or a cooked cheese or vegetable dish. As a side dish serve salad, cooked vegetables, rice, noodles or polenta.
In the end of the meal Italians usually have dessert. There can be a cheese plate, or some fruit and sweets. After dessert you can serve strong black coffee in small cups. Coffee is sometimes followed with brandy or grappa, a bitter amaro, anise-flavored sambuca or a sweet wine. Beverages (like wine) could be also served with each course.
Dishes for party