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Italian dinner menu: need sides ideas

  • j

Hi all: I am making pasta bolognase for a few people on saturday night. I am going to have bread, caprese salad, tapenade- all pre meal with drinks.

What would go well with the pasta? I was thinking of roasted asparagus or another veggie. All ideas appreciated.

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      1. re: LaLa

        Spinach good. Escarole or bietina (if you can get it) better.

        1. re: chicgail

          I like the escarole idea. Wilted with olive oil, garlic and chopped olives. Top with toasted pine nuts. Lots of texture and contrast.

          1. re: JungMann

            Greens of all sorts would be excellent. Another suggestion would be beet greens- just a few days ago I did a batch sauteed with baby spinach, sliced shallots, some diced pimento from the garden (but red bell would do as well) and a splash of balsemic vinegar. You just want some sweetness to counteract the bitterness. It was amazing. Then I made some roasted potatoes, 1/2" dice, the next day and added them to the greens and it sent the dish right over the edge- so hearty and satisfying.

      2. My fav italian side - roasted zuchinni with pesto and mozzarella... yum!

        1. broccoli raab with garlic and red pepper flakes

          roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta or bacon

          I had to spell check raab and brussels sprouts.

          1. my favorite: calliflour sauted in olive oil. head EVVO, add sliced garlic, add cut up cauliflour. I usually add some water to help it cook. You want to add salt and pepper at some point. I add salt at beginning and pepper at the end. It should be well brown. I think I pick this one up on Lidia's family table and it is always hit at my house even with the kids.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Soup

              Actually that reminds me of a new cauliflower dish I've encountered: simply roasted with olive oil and garlic. When tender and browned, toss with grated parmesan and romano. The roasting lends the cauliflower a surprising nuttiness that combined with the firmness of the cauliflower would foil well against pasta.

            2. With pasta : a plain, simple green salad with a light dressing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien

                A salad would be my first choice too, with a variety of greens ..with a red wine vinaigrette. Especially if you're serving the meat from the sauce along with the macaroni. Of course the salad would be served after the macaroni.

              2. Another vote for the sauteed greens w/garlic and red pepper flakes. Sprinkled w/toasted pine nuts.